Archive for the 'press' Category

Aug 08 2009

two mentions today

The first comes from Planet 5D a wonderful blog site that is a great place to track the development of shooting video with the Canon 5D MKII. There is a quick run down of how I volunteered to help Erik Proulx and his Please Feed the Animals team work on the “Lenonade” film and ended up contributing video instead of stills to the production.

David5 two mentions today

David Cohen lost his job and changed his identity (still from 5D MKII video)

I’ll add more details about the project and how my new Twitter habit led me to the production.

The second Twitter connection led to a mentions in edwardboche’sposterous blog. Edward is the chief creative officer and chief social media officer at Mullen and a Twitter connection. We traded some posts in advance of his recent Crowdsourcing program for the Ad Club in Boston, and he was kind enough to express the refreshing feeling that was created by my bathtub photo from a recent Flat Creak Ranch series. (I was the poster boy photographer in Jeff Howe’s original Wire Magazine Crowdsourcing feature.)

Edward also writes about his connection to the “Lenonade” movie.

Mark Harmel

No responses yet

Jul 17 2009

“and that’s the way it is”

Published by under news,portraits,press,process,teaching

I can’t say that I knew Walter Cronkite any better than any other regular viewer, but I did as a college student manage to ask him a question at one of these University journalist all-star talks. I presumptuous asked if it was a bit presumptuous of him to conclude the program with his famous sign-off, “And that’s the way it is.” He graciously explained that when the news show expanded from 15 to 30 minutes there were plans on including a quirky item at the end of the show and the sign-off would be ironic or humorous.

The news hole soon filled up with major events of the day and Cronkite wrote that he “was too stubborn to drop it”

Walter and thats the way it is

Walter Cronkite signing off on his final CBS Evening News broadcast

The picture above came about after experimenting with documenting scenes off the TV one freezing Michigan winter. This photo is somewhat historic by being taken right after he signed-off for the last time.

I still recommend shooting off a TV screen as a beginning photo exercise. It is the best opportunity I know to have experiences flow in front of you where you can concentrate on simply pressing the shutter at the right moment. It is harder than it looks.

No responses yet

May 17 2009

portfolio featured on

Photo rep/consultant Tony Luna recently wrote about my portfolio in his column on titled “The Six Elements of an Effective Presentation“. In the feature Tony focuses on the specific topic of a photography portfolio, but his general thesis can apply to any type of artist – as well as any marketing presentation.

In my case (used to illustrate element #4) he focuses on the challenge of presenting my diverse body of work. These could have be broken down in multiple portfolios, but instead I decided with my consultant/designer Deanne Delbridge to blend in a number of different styles that all speak to the message of a healthy lifestyle.

20060419 mh 9139 60 portfolio featured on

Portfolio designed as a doctor's black bag

By creating the overall theme we can present portraits or a senior couple in front of their house and a portrait of a surgeon conducting a liver transplant. A travel photo of women practicing Qigong in downtown Hanoi fits in with a Chinese researcher in an islet cell lab. The biggest stretch was blending in a series of my fine-art oriented photos into the book. They present the message that I’m an artist as well a visual story-teller and introduce the idea of using these photos to illustrate conceptual messages. (A separate Visual Concepts portfolio now expands on this message.)

20090513 uci 7729 571 portfolio featured on

Neuro-oncologist Dr. Daniela Bota - UC Irvine Medical Center

The healthcare portfolio allows me to have a book that targets a specific segment of the market that highlights the expertise I developed over the years. This also allows me to have a body of work that speaks directly to a client’s market. I have a healthcare book that I present to a healthcare client.

Looking to rejuvenate your career? Consider signing up for one of Tony Luna’s classes.

Mark Harmel

One response so far

Nov 17 2008

portfolio highlighted

Published by under marketing,press

An update: in November, 2008 Andrew’s book was chosen as a winner in the “photography: Instructional/How-To” category of The National Best Books 2008 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.My photos have appeared in a number of books recently. The latest is a feature about my portfolio and promo creations in Andrew Darlow’s “301 Inkjet Tip and Techniques”
.inkjettipscover portfolio highlighted
In the book Andrew details the design and building process of two portfolios that I did with with the help of designer Michael Standlee (also know as “PhotoshopDude”), book artist Tania Baban and poet Jim Natal. The first book we created was for the collection of my personal work that I call Sightings. For this we chose the look of a well worn travel journal complete with a leather string tie.
20041112 Port 5131 portfolio highlighted

20041112 Port 5138 portfolio highlighted
We then continued on to create a healthcare portfolio that is modeled after and old family doctor’s house call black bag.
20060419 mh 9160 portfolio highlighted

20060419 mh 9136 portfolio highlighted
This is the book that has been recently updated with the help of consultant Deanne Delbridge. My current mission is to get this book out into the healthcare world. Don’t be surprised if I call you later today for an appointment.

Mark Harmel

No responses yet

Aug 28 2008

“is stock photography the canary in the coal mine?”

Published by under healthcare,marketing,press

That is one of the questions posed by the Crowdsourcing author Jeff Howe. His recent book is an expansion of his original Wired Magazine feature that included me in the role of a coalmine canary.

crowdsourcing is stock photography the canary in the coal mine?

I was the first known example of a professional, commercial photographer losing out on licensing a group of photos to the National Health Museum (NHM)  in Washington, DC. to the world of microstock photography. The project manager on an interactive kiosk called and first tried to impress me with the prime D.C. Mall Location, the building designed by a famous architect and the style of the interactive display by a leading Australian design firm. She then proceeded to inform me that their budget had been spent on all of these other impressive features and perhaps I would be honored to be included in their inaugural displays at two science museums.

I’m always happy to be involved with worthy projects when everyone else if donating their time. But when I’m the only one doing the donating I’m less inclined. In this case a new source was available and now cheap stock photos were available from amateur photographers to fill up the custom designed displays.

The microstock crowd love to talk about how their cheap source of photography simply opens up a new market for images. They talk about uses that could be right for the low $1-3 fee for using the photo like a school report or a church bulletin. But with no restrictions on the use for only those small projects any normal commercial user could also pull from the same pool of images. The NHM experience was an example that someone more concerned about their marketing budget then their return would go for the cheap fix instead of meaningful communications.

As a member of an international group of professional stock photographers that I helped form, called the Stock Artist Alliance (SAA). I posted my experience our email group seeing if this was becoming a trend or simple an odd customer interaction.

Months later when Jeff Howe called the SAA’s Executive Director Betsy Reid about what he saw as an example of the new trend of Crowdsourcing she recalled my post and I became the poster boy for the feature.

The original phone call from the NHM occurred almost four years ago, since that time the NHM is still a dream looking for a reality – now in Atlanta instead of the Washington Mall. There is still talk of a famous architect and interactive designer and they still use bad and perhaps cheap photography.

The major stock photo outlets, led by Getty Images decided that it was better to join the emerging trend instead of fighting for their market. They bought the main supplier of cheap photos and watched their stock price collapse along with the fees that can be charged now for a stock photograph.

20070627 stk 8666 is stock photography the canary in the coal mine?

Medical researcher in an islet cell lab. 

I still create and send a number of my photos out to my stock photo outlets, but I now wonder if it even worth the investment of my time to even caption and keyword the images for distribution. More of my time is now spent connecting with clients directly that share my vision in the assignment world instead of relying on an agent that believe that photographs are a mere widget in their investment banking inspired business plan.

No responses yet

Aug 19 2008

how “the americans” changed my life

Published by under documentary,portraits,press,process

NPR has a wonderful feature on how “The Americans” change photography.

There will be many deserved celebrations on the 50th anniversary of the publishing of Robert Frank’s seminal book “The Americans”. For me I will be celebrated the 31st year that seeing the book changed my life.

americans how the americans changed my life

I was still in college and visiting Chicago, supposedly to walk into an amazing internship with successful studio photographer Gus Gregory. Another student, one of my photography/quantum mechanics teacher, Paul Corneil, had started the internship, and this was my chance to continue the tradition.

What disrupted the plan was seeing a copy of The Americans the night before.

This was the end of a summer where I was playing Charles Kuralt with a still camera on a bike. I rode with my friend Jim around Western Michigan looking for the quirky out of the way stories that The Grand Rapids Press didn’t normally cover. The film and our attempts at writing a story were mailed back and converted into features that normally ran in the Sunday magazine. We featured an Olympic bicycle coach that was running an early, successful mail-order business of racing bike supplies out of Cadillac, witnessed the home-town President Jerry Ford, being upstaged in a Traverse City cherry-blossom parade by Ronald McDonald and the Hambugler, and were one of the few audience members to see Chubby Checkers twist the night away in a Cheboygan High School gymnasium that was nearly empty because of two weddings in town that were scheduled the same night.

portuesi how the americans changed my life

Our first feature on Olympic bicycle coach Gene Portuesi.

On the final story we covered, a magician’s conclave, I met Chicago Sun-Times staffer Scott Fincher taking photos as well. A conclave is a gathering in of magicians and magic fans that happened every year in Colon, the home of Abbott Magic Company. Famed magician Harry Blackstone founded Abbott, and Scott was covering the conclave for the Sunday magazine of his paper. I was mostly in awe of meeting a real staffer from the big city and he was being kind to a young upstart. I mentioned the upcoming trip to Chicago and he volunteered his place as a crash pad.

colon3 how the americans changed my life

In addition to being a news photographer, Scott is also a very fine street photographer that was busy preparing a fine art show of his personal work. As we were talking about his photos he mentioned a reference to Robert Frank and after noticing that I was clueless promptly produced a copy of The Americans.

Jack Kerouac has as the most poetic description of how Frank managed to suck “a sad poem right out of America onto film”. I wanted to run out and look for every 50′s jukebox and diner I could find. I had discovered my muse.

Still high on the experienced I biked my way to the studio of Gus Gregory and was given the grand tour of the studio and was showed the results of the recent jobs of shooting hot rollers and stereo speakers. I now appreciate the expertise in both landing these national advertising jobs and the skill involved in lighting these difficult products.

rollerset2 how the americans changed my life

Hot rollers similar to what I saw in Gus Gregory’s studio.

With out the introduction to Robert Frank the night before, I might have been justifiably impressed; instead I’m afraid I came off as under whelmed. Instead I followed the siren song of the street and the printed page.

trolly how the americans changed my life

Echos of the cover of “The Americans” from a GR Press feature on photographers.

No responses yet

May 06 2008

here comes the judge

Published by under press

Warner Bros released a photo today to the Associated Press that I took of Judge Jeanine Pirro. Below is a more shadowy version of her honor that may be used in the title treatment or as a bumper going in or out of commercials.

20070612 tele 7654 here comes the judge

Pirro is my second TV judge. The first was famous boxing referee Mills Lane who was known for starting fights with his trademark phrase “Let’s get it on!”

mills door here comes the judge

I started doing these television promotional shoot with director John McBride. We started out together working on local station promotions and then moved on to various shows produced by the the Warner Bros division Telepictures .

The original project was shooting still photo that John put together into commercials for the station and we moved onto mixing live action with still images. At time the stills are shot in conjunction with the film crew and other times I’m shooting independently.

No responses yet

Mar 30 2008

range sails to hang in the center for fine art photography

Published by under press,process,visual concepts

One of my Sightings photos was recently selected to hang in The Center for Fine Art Photography’s 2008 ASMP Exhibition.

This was a competition only open to members of the professional trade group, The American Society of Media Photographers. The winners were selected by respected independent curator Kirsten Rian.

You can view all the winners here:

20070807 stk 0209 range sails to hang in the center for fine art photography

It is alway perplexing why one photos was chosen over the others that were entered. In many ways it is typical of many of my personal photos. It was a drive-by shoot. Not in the moving car sense, but in the “what in the world is that flapping on the fence, I have to turn around and find out” sense. What I knew at the time was they were shredded sheets of plastic blowing in a strongly gusting wind. I have since learned that these are bits of torn Hay Wrap that broke free from protecting a bale of hay.

Now a good artist statement about this photo would make some reference to how they resemble Tibetan Prayer Flags or about how they make an environmental statement about our throw-a-way culture. I’m suspicious that these sort of statements are made up long after the photo was taken and have very little to do with the moment.

As with many of my photos the secret is the simple recognition of and interesting visual moment and working with the interplay of movement and light. It was not created by an special technique or equipment. The photo was made by seeing an unusual event, stopping the car, climbing through the weeds and laying on my back to point the camera at the sky.

The secret technique is knowing what direction to point the camera.

No responses yet

« Prev