Saturday, December 17, 2011

"when you find me"

THIS weekend only! You can view the online premiere of "when you find me", a Ron Howard film which my photograph helped inspire. (Look for my name in the credits). :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Trip to New York City - film premiere and more!

NYC Trip - 11/2011

I decided to document most of my experiences of my NYC trip before I forget the details. Some of this may be more detail than most may want to read, but at least I've captured the detail for history sake. :)

If you haven't been keeping up with my news, you might want to read about Project Imagin8ion before continuing.

When the Winning "8" Photographers were notified that we had won, we were told we would receive a free round-trip flight to New York, with a driver to drive us to/from the airports and event. The trip itinerary was go to NYC on Monday and return home on Wednesday. The only event planned for us was the premiere and VIP after-party, all the rest was open and up to us to do whatever we wanted. We were told we could bring one guest with us to the film Premiere and after-party. I decided to take my sister (Carol), so you will be seeing her in the photos. In fact, she had the camera most of the time (during the event), so most of the photos were taken by her.

A few notes about the cameras used during the event: One of the prizes of this event was a Canon S95 (a very nice point-and-shoot camera that also shoots HD video), which I let my sister use during the event. I also carried my iPhone 4S, so I could capture some snapshots and short video clips during the event. I also took my Nikon with me to NYC and shot some 'tourist'-style images, which I'll post later.

These are by no means all the photos we took. This is only a few. Over the next week or so, I'll be posting the photos on my Facebook page at

My trip began on Monday, 11/14/2011, at 3:30AM. Yes, a driver was in my driveway at 3:30AM!

My flight was a 6:30am flight from Little Rock to Newark, NJ. Carol (and husband Randy) had flown-up the night before, since they flew straight from Dallas.

My flight was on-time and the driver was just a phone call away.
I called Carol and we met-up for brunch at a restaurant near the hotel.

During brunch, we discussed what options we had for the day. My main priority was to get a skyline shot of NYC at night, so the challenge was to determine the best place and plan around it. I decided on the Empire State Building as a good candidate for viewing the skyline.

Carol and Randy wanted to visit the World Trade Center Memorial & Museum complex, and they said it would be best at night with the grounds all lit-up with lights. So after more discussion and planning, we finished brunch and returned to the hotel for my camera equipment and to reserve tickets for ground zero.

We then walked to Central Park. The weather was abnormally warm for November in NY. The fall colors were vibrant, although the sky was overcast.
(I'll be posting more images from Central Park in the coming weeks.)

From Central Park, we continued with my plan to get to the Empire State Building (ESB) by dusk. I wanted to get there by dusk to capture the late-evening color and shortly thereafter also capture the NYC lights. Unfortunately, the ESB is so crowded, they don't allow tripods, which was devastating since I required a tripod to get great night shots of the city. So, I had to improvise and rest my camera the best of my ability on the ledges and fencing around the perimeter. I also shot a short video clip with my iPhone 4s. (I'll be posting more images in the coming weeks.)

We had tickets for the new World Trade Center at 7:00pm, so we left the ESB in time to get there. I was amazed at the level of security! We likely passed through at least six checkpoints, with two of them being the baggage scanners like the airports have. Once inside the complex, we had the freedom to walk around. By this time it was dark and the grounds were lit-up beautifully. With its shimmering glass curtain walls and towering antennae, One World Trade Center will soar a symbolic 1,776 feet skyward to become America's tallest building. Designed by David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 2.6-million-square-foot building will include office space, an observation deck, world-class restaurants, and broadcast and antennae facilities.

There are two massive pools, set within the footprints of the Twin Towers, with the largest man-made waterfalls in the country cascading down their sides.

The names of the nearly 3,000 individuals who were killed in the September 11 attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, and the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing will be inscribed around the edges of the Memorial pools.


We had to be ready for the premiere by 6:00pm sharp. So we planned our day backwards. We left the hotel and proceeded to find a place for breakfast. In our
search for a restaurant, we stopped to talk with a bus tour guide. We took a few brochures and maps and discussed the plan over breakfast. Yes, we seem to
plan our days while eating. (ha)

We decided to take a bus tour, which would give us a nice view from the top of the bus around the city. We chose a route which passed Macy's, which is a stop
Carol wanted to experience. We purchased the bus tour tickets and were on our way. (I'll be posting more images in the coming weeks.)

Unfortunately for us, our route took us through the financial district, which that day, was heavily bombarded by protestors/demonstrators, which in-turn brought 20,000? police officers to the scene. Traffic was a standstill and I'm glooming at my watch worried that we were going to have a challenge getting back to the hotel on time. Fortunately, we were able to get off at the next stop, find a taxi and get back to the hotel in time to grab a quick bite to eat and get ready!

The Winning 8 Photographers and guests were to meet in the hotel lobby at 6:00pm sharp, so that we would all be driven at the same time.

The film premiere and after-party destination: American Museum of Natural History.
We arrived as it was beginning a slight mist in the air. The red carpet was out to the curb as we were greeted with people escorting us with umbrellas.
The museum was closed to the public, excluding those invited to this event, so most of the decor was all Project Imagin8ion related. Once inside, we were quickly sipping champagne as we walked through the museum hallways. Soon we entered a room full of lights, media crew and more red carpet. This is where we took the group photos and we each did two interviews (one for National TV and one for in-house that will be distributed). I was a hot room with all the media and hot lights. I hope my interviews aren't too embarrassing. (ha)

Within a few turns, we were blown away by wall-to-wall photos of ALL 96,362 photo submissions! It was amazing to see all the images tiled on the walls of the hallways. It was almost a dizzying place to stand. I'll post a video soon.

Once we passed through this hallway, the next hallway revealed the winning photographs, framed and large!

After a few minutes of visiting, we were ushered into an auditorium where we would watch the premiere. As we began to enter the auditorium, there were two movie posters on easels, inside each side of the entrance. To my amazement, the movie posters were based on a rendition of my tree! :)

We had reserved seats on the first row, which we sat and waited for the show to begin. Introductions were made by the Director of Grey Interactive/Alliance Agency (don't remember the exact name/title), which she soon introduced the Winning 8 Photographers as we stood and received applause from the 500-700 attendees of the Premiere. Next, we were shown 'the making of...' film, which showed some behind-the-scenes, etc, of the making of the movie. Following this, we watched the film. It was an incredible film - full of emotions, scenery, and dramatic characters. It seems longer than the estimated 23 minutes. I'm anxious to watch it again! There was so much to absorb in those 23 minutes, that I'm sure I missed some things. :)
Here's a link to the trailer.

After watching the film, they had a Q&A session planned with Ron Howard, Bryce Dallas Howard, Dane Charbeneau (the writer), Rob Altman (a Marketing Executive from Canon, and the host of the Q&A (David Edelstein, Chief Film Critic, New York Magazine). The Q&A was very entertaining. I hope to post a video of the Q&A - if/when it's published.

After the Q&A ended, we gathered in front of the stage for a few minutes before continuing to the 'whale room'. During this wait time, I was able to briefly
meet with Ron Howard and continued to chat with the other winning photographers. Soon, we were ushered through more hallways, and more hallways, into what appeared to be an even larger room, what is known as the 'whale room'. As we entered, again we saw the two movie posters.

Upon entering this monolithic room, you see the life-sized WHALE suspended from the ceiling! Massive! As we descended down the stairs, my fellow photographers brought my attention to the centerpiece of the room: a bar in the center of the room, surrounded by blue lighting, and in the center this spectacle: a glowing white tree! I was speechless. I never expected so much representation of my winning image to be used for the movie and premiere!

The after-party was VIP only and the room seemed to fill quickly. The music was great and the drinks were free! The bar was amazing - Microsoft tables with photos digitally within that you could scatter around the table.

I was able to visit with Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard and get photographs with them. I also met with Dane Charbeneau, who wrote the screenplay. I talked with the Canon executives for a while. They asked me what I shot with, and after hearing my reply of "I'm a Nikon guy", they grumbled (in a fun way). I told them that I had 30+ years of collecting Nikon gear and there's no easy way to switch, even if I wanted to. They all nodded and said they completely understood. We all had a great time!

The great news - I was able to keep one of the posters! :) Also, all VIP attendees received a gift bag of various gifts. Canon, Grey Interactive/Alliance Agency did a FANTASTIC job in creating a wonderful experience at the Premiere and after-party!

There was also an "after-after-party" at a local bar. Since I was carrying the poster and gift bag, I wanted to get them back to the hotel. My sister & I grabbed a taxi to get us back and the taxi had an "8" that someone had wrote on the windshield with a finger in the rain. What are the odds? (ha)

Upon arriving at the hotel, I noticed two ladies exiting a cab, standing near the curb, in front of the hotel and continually smiling at me, as if they knew me(?). Once we paid the cab and walked toward the front doors, they approached me and noticed I was carrying the gift bag from the event. One of them asked if I photographed the tree. Bewildered, I responded, 'yes'. The younger of the two was the Line Producer of the film! The older lady was her mother. Obviously, we had questions for each other. :)

One of the interesting points of our conversation was the fact that they assumed (correctly) that I had shot the scene in true infrared. One of her first questions was to confirm that I had a dedicated infrared camera - which I do. She said that they 'tried' to fake it (the infrared look) during the initial shooting, but couldn't match it. To stay with the integrity of my image, she finally convinced Canon that they "needed" to convert one of their expensive cameras to be truly infrared. They finally agreed. So, in the trailer and movie, when you see the infrared scenes, they were shot in true infrared. :)


We only had a half-day before we had to prep for the flight back. Unfortunately, it was raining, so it clouded my opportunities for more city photographs. We decided to visit time square and have some brunch. We discussed next plans and decided to walk back to the M&M store. If you've never been, it's incredible - a 3-story building full of M&M stuff. You can get custom-colored M&M's! We also visited the Hershey store across the street.

We ended the trip chatting in the hotel lobby with some of the other Winning 8 photographers as we waited for our drivers to pick us up. All the other Winning photographers are awesome, friendly and humble. I enjoyed meeting them all!

[See my Facebook page for more photos over the coming weeks:]

Special thanks to Canon, Ron Howard, Bryce Howard, Grey Interactive, and Alliance Agency!

Click here to learn more or to buy a print

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Trail Invitations"

A favorite panorama from a hike at Woolly Hollow State Park, Arkansas a few years ago.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

More press! >> ICON magazine

Hot off the press! You can see my photos on this month's cover of ICON magazine, as well as an in-depth article and more photos inside! :) You can pick-up a magazine in various locations around central Arkansas.
>> View November Issue of ICON magazine

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

See my winning photo on tv!

If you haven't yet seen this commercial, you probably will - just watch prime time TV on the major networks (cbs, nbc, abc, tbs) and look for the Ron Howard/Project Imagin8ion commercial.
Near the end of the commercial, you'll see the above frame. You can easily see my winning photo near center-left. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ron Howard discusses why he chose my image...

For those of you who haven't seen this, here's Ron Howard's video commentary on why he chose my image to inspire his next production film: Link to video

Ron Howard Discusses Kelly Shipp's Winning Photo from Kelly Shipp on Vimeo.

New video of me on Project Imagin8ion...

A new video of me discussing my winning image has been posted on the Project Imagin8ion website. Link to YouTube video

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Interview live on KTHV (Little Rock)...

Here's the clip that includes both the intro segment (when they first discuss me) and the full interview:

Embarrassing, but I survived... :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011


It's OFFICIAL! Ron Howard has chosen my image! :)
My photo is 1 of 8 to inspire his next short film.
The Huffington Post is the first to announce:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In the Press...

In the Press: Boudreaux Associates (a Dallas Interior Design Firm) recently published a great article about my photography in their July Newsletter

Friday, July 22, 2011

Project Imagin8ion - update

Still waiting for the public announcement, but here's an update from Ron Howard on Project Imagin8ion -

Friday, June 24, 2011

Project Imagin8ion - update

WOW! Project Imagin8ion update: my image was selected as one of ten (10) Project Imagin8ion Contest finalists in The Unknown Theme.
Ron Howard will select one (1) photo from the ten (10) finalists in each movie theme category that inspires him most for his next film.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Project Imagin8ion...

I could use your vote!

I recently submitted several photographs to Project Imagin8ion, a photography project which Ron Howard will use to set the stage for his next film! One of my images has been selected as a semi-finalist! :)

I could use your vote to push me into the finalist category!
You can vote here

Friday, May 13, 2011

Inside the Tulip

Inside the Tulip

A Tulip abstract. I found this to be abstract, almost painterly, even though it was basically straight from the camera. I carefully composed this image while laying on the ground. The center petal is the only one in focus, due to the extreme magnification, the depth of field is shallow. The green at the bottom of the frame is the top of the stem. The black area to the right, is the center of the flower.

The more you study it, especially from different distances, it has an odd sense of depth, yet remains abstract.

You can draw your own conclusions of what you see. :)

Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Mountain

"The Mountain" - an awesome, time-lapsed video by Terje Sorgjerd.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Porsche on the track...

One of my favorite images from last weekend's SCCA event.
Porsche 914 on the track.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Another from this series of color-infrared images of this tree. I planned this shot ahead of time, to capture the sun setting with the light about half-way up the tree, and subsequently positioning the moon in the same frame. I left plenty of space between the moon and tree to give the greater sense of space (pardon the pun).

I entitled this with "Gravity" because of the effect of shooting this in ultra-wide, the curvature of the earth bends toward the moon, while the tree points to the moon. The result is that your eye is always drawn to the moon, the smallest object in the photograph. :)
Hope you enjoy.

Color-infrared, hdr, converted to monotone.
Orig # DSC_0118-24hdr

You can see my popular, horizontal version here:

Stand Out from the Crowd

This is more of an artistic result than I normally display. The original, infrared-color image produced wonderful magenta hues that I couldn't resist exploiting.

Hope you enjoy.

Color-infrared panorama.
Orig: DSC_0126-0139hdr2

Friday, April 15, 2011

Where One Day Ends, One Day Begins

"Where One Day Ends, One Day Begins"
This was a tough one to plan and accomplish. I needed a clear horizon for the sun to hit the tree half-way, and lucky timing to include the moon above the tree in the same frame.

I wanted to portray the end of one day, hence the fading sunset light on the tree, with the rise of the moon above the tree. I shot ultra-wide to get the curvature of the earth toward the moon and to draw your eye to the tree, then the moon.

Hope you enjoy. :)
Orig # DSC_0112c

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sepia Days

With this image, I wanted to portray a timeless feel.
I wanted to show the peace and tranquility of flowers, fields, and trees.
Hope you enjoy.

Color image converted to b&w and sepia tinted.
Orig # KS0_5635bws

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nature's Green Is Gold...

"Nature's Green is Gold"

I photographed this tree last week and really had this image in-mind afterwards, so I returned this week to get this shot. The tree is rooted among a field of buttercup flowers. It's an obvious HDR image, which took some time processing, but I wanted this to be more artistic than pure realism.
I hope you enjoy.

Orig # KS0_5888-94hdr4cs

Monday, April 11, 2011

A few photos from this past weekend...

A few photos from this past weekend:

"Sunset Bridge"

"Field of Flowers"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Recent photos from this past week...

Here are a few infrared photos from this past week. Hope you enjoy...

Cotton in the Sky

Spring's new growth of leaves opened-up on this tree, offering an explosion of reflective light in a contrasty landscape.

I waited for the moment where most light would strike the new leaves, so I could emphasize their contrast against the blue sky. I had to catch the sun early to position it where I wanted to in the composition.

Hope you enjoy.

High-contrast image sourced from color-infrared light.
Orig # DSC_2014

Spring Offers New Growth

I really like this tree with it's fresh, new growth of leaves. I waited for the sun's position to fit well into the composition and captured this moment.

Hope you enjoy.

High-contrast image sourced from infrared light.
Orig # DSC_1170bw

Drawn to the Light

I was drawn to this landscape. The trees seem to be physically drawn to the sunlight.

High-contrast image sourced from infrared light.
Orig # DSC_2083bw

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A few images from today...

One of my favorites from a shoot today...
"Sepia Sunset" - Spring has come and the new growth reflect infrared light. This tree has been struck by lightning and continues to reach to the sky. I found the detail to be mesmerizing.
Infrared, converted to b&w, sepia tinted.
Orig # DSC_1062bws2

"Blue Skies"
Spring has come and the new growth reflect infrared light. This is a complex composition but I enjoy it. I wanted three strong components: curvature of the earth/sky, strong tree in silhouette, and the setting sun. Hope you enjoy.
Color Infrared.
Orig # DSC_0042a

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sun and Snow

Sun & Snow
This is a winter scene not too far from my home. We received 6" of snow the day before, so I carefully positioned myself on a ridge to get this shot with all of the elements. If you study the image, you'll understand just how bright this area was -- blinding, to be more accurate. You can see how the branches were backlit from all the snow. I should have wore sunglasses!

This is an infrared color image.

Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lake Beaverfork sunset

Here's a panorama sunset of Lake Beaverfork from yesterday. This view is approx. 160-degrees. Hope you enjoy...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A few random images from 2007...

The all-natural habitat can be visually interesting when you're amidst it in life-size dimensions.

This 'posing' Mantis was as mesmerized as I was. It posed perfectly for this image, of which I'm still amazed. The juxtaposition of its legs are almost perfect. Hope you enjoy.

Another of which is purely natural. The 'rays of light' are actually out-of-focus blades of grass. The background is actually the sky. I did spend a few extra seconds composing just the right angle to get the composition I wanted. This could easily be a still frame from a sci-fi movie. Hope you enjoy.