The season of the man of war in South Florida is roughly between December to February.
Of course this does not mean they are attacking the beaches every day. There are many factors that dictate when this happens like wind patterns, tides, etc. But know that on all of these days, Aaron is at the beach with his wife and kids, hunting for the next batch of subject matter.
Treated like paints for a paint brush, these creatures provide Aaron with the ability to create works of art that are both psychedelic and original.
Today I had the honor of not only being in the same room with three different sea turtle species, but to also be up close and personal with the “Critically Endangered” Hawksbill Turtle. These beautiful creatures where being escorted from their current recovery at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton to the South Florida Wildlife Center where I have been volunteering for the past few years. I got the call and told it was last minute thing and if I would be able to take some behind the scenes photos. Naturally I always take advantage of the photographer’s number one best friend… ACCESS!
Unfortunately, I had a ton of things to do today and really needed to stay home. But there was one thing that started to resonate in the back of my head like getting slapped on the neck. It was something my close mentor and friend, Chip Maury would say to me, “Never let yourself regret a missed opportunity.” All I could think about was if I missed this, I might not ever get an opportunity again. It’s one thing to be in the presence of an endangered species, let alone a critically endangered one. So I grabbed the gear, threw it in the back of the truck and headed out. 30 minutes later I was set up and ready for the arrival.
What I definitely wasn’t expecting was to see the character of a man named Dr. Kirt Rusenko walk into the room. Sure I was able to get some nice close shots of the turtles and provide great behind the scenes images for the center to use for their news release, but what I was most excited about was the ability to have a moment to ask Dr. Kirt for his portrait. I had only a couple minutes to set up, threw a black backdrop over some cages, moved my light to the side and asked him to pick up one of the turtles. He obliged and within a few clicks I was done and they were gone. It was a wonderful moment that I am sure will last a while. The goal was to at least see the turtles, but to also get to know some new people who care for wildlife as much as I do.
I definitely did both.
I broke down my gear and headed home shortly after. I now cringe now when I look back on the day and how I could have easily blown off the opportunity and gone on with my “work” instead. The work still got done and although I may have missed an hour of sleep it was well worth it.
I was recently contacted by a Mark Alper at BigAcrylic.com to check out his services. We sent him one of my Rorshachum Natura collection to give it a go. The process they went with was to print directly onto acrylic in a way that allows for the image to be seen from the other side. This allows for the image to then be mounted either on a wall or inside a light box with light to go through it. I was impressed with their color matching as I have had issues with other printers in the past. What I wan’t too thrilled with is their inability to print above 150 dpi. This however is minimized by their ability to print very large sizes at a very competitive prices. I use a high end printer locally that uses a different process which allows for me to meet my discerning collector’s needs and at a much higher detail, but their costs make it tough for me to make it affordable to many, but now I can make comparable prints and allow me to provide affordable alternatives to a more retail client. These of course would not be signed or limited editions, but rather reprints for commercial enterprise.
Another thing I noticed was the pitting at the edges which are one of the side affects of printing directly onto the acrylic and cutting (I’m assuming) as opposed to sandwiching or gluing the print directly onto the acrylic (never had this problem with my local guy.
In the end I am still satisfied with this capability and how affordable it is getting for my non-collector clients. To top it off, Mark is very approachable and eager to satisfy. He is quick to respond to all my questions and willing to help as much as possible.
I would recommend him for your family and event photos. Not necessarily for fine art that you plan to keep for long.
We plan on using this company very soon for our services with my wife’s company at ANA Creatives.