The way cameras and film see what is in front of them is radically different than the way our eyes see things. With my images and your eyes, I create solid walls out of flimsy movie sets — and hard, shiny polished chrome out of styrofoam and paint.

Following are some technical notes about how I do my work. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.


The sets are made of wood flats. Some are discarded from film sets and some I make myself. Curvy parts are made with bendable luan. I use flat latex paint and good brushes. I occasionally use spray paint as well.


Props: I build props starting with pink styrofoam insulation board for armatures. I shape the styrofoam to the general form I need for a given prop then I coat the styrofoam with about 1/4" of Durabond (a mixable muddy joint compound that dries very hard). After it hardens, I smooth it down with water and carving tools (Durabond is not sandable). After the piece dries, I give it a skim coat of joint compound and sand it smooth. Then I give the piece many coats of good quality latex primer, sanding between each coat. When the piece is perfectly smooth, I give it a final coat of chrome spray paint. If any parts need to be formed out of metal, such as antennae, I use found objects or build them myself. I use tape and hot glue as needed.

Other props, such as martini glasses and olives, are found or bought at local stores.



Cambo 45NX 4x5 studio rail camera



Nikon 90mm f8.0, Schneider 150mm f5.6



4x5 negative, usally Kodak P100 tungsten balanced film



As you can tell, I use lots of lights. I use a mixture of tungsten lights and strobes — everything ranging from clamp-lights to projectors to Speedotron strobes.



Kodak Duraflex. This paper, made for the advertising industry, is an ultra-high gloss polyester-based paper which has the identical irridescent quality of Ilfochrome or Cibachrome. However, in my experience, Duraflex has considerably wider tonal range capabilities than positive papers. Kodak claims that the dyes will last anywhere from 50 to 100 years before noticeable color change in normal viewing light and temperature. Every test I've read has a different evaluation for the archival quality of given papers. It is widely agreed that Ilfochrome/Cibachrome will last approximately 60 years before noticeable color change, and that any polyester paper base will last indefinitely.


Frames: My neighbor, David Parker, welds aluminum frames for my work. I polish, drill, and assemble them myself.