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High Dynamic Range Imagery: How to make ill-er photographs With: Matt Smyth

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Basically what you gotta do is using your digital SLR, you have to ‘bracket’, which means you have to go to a higher exposure and a lower exposure from the correct exposure. So you want three exposures for the optimum range of the picture. Okay, alright, so pretend like I have no idea what’s goin’ on. What’s the first step? You need a DSLR because you need to be able to change the F-stop and Shutter Speed…Basically, how pictures work is – shutter speed is how fast the shutter closes, and F-Stop is like, if you think about your eye as a camera – it’s like when you squint, you can see things a little more focused and they become a little more clear. That’s basically how a camera works too – the smaller the hole, which is the F-Stop, the more clear images are, but it lets in the least light. The more open the F-Stop is, the more light gets let in, but it’s less clear, has less focal range. So do you have to take three separate pictures to do this? Yes. Preferably, you wanna use a tripod to keep it exactly still so that the pixels line up. If it’s a little off, it will be harder to render…Then you choose your subject matter and you get the appropriate F-Stop / Shutter Speed combination (So the image is clear). And then you wanna go one F-Stop above, and then one F-Stop below the correct range. So you have three different pictures: One that is slightly overexposed and one that’s slightly underexposed, and one that has the proper exposure…Then you download your images and use a program like Photoshop – there’s other ones that do this, but I prefer Photoshop. And you pull up your photos in different layers – not sure what action it is, maybe it’s under ‘edit’, I’m not sure, but it’s in one of those top bars. There is an HDR slot and it says ‘render in HDR’. Click that and go through some window boxes and it just compresses the picture into one layer. Then you print and get babes and get famous? That’s right. May 2013, 3

Opening the Hood on DePreter Designs: A Chat with Mike Stots and Curtis Chambers, The Brains and Hands Behind the Business

Where are you guys located? Stots: Clinton Corners, NY How long have you been working at DePreter ( Stots: I’ve been workin’ there since about, ah 2003. I bought the company from my former boss on March 7th of 2012, and Curt has been working with us since about a month before that. Chambers: February…2012 What have you guys been working on recently? Chambers: Shit, we got, um, workin’ on designs for Disc Jam music festival in Brimfield, Massachusetts (June 14, 15, 16). We did the designs for the facebook banners, stage banners, tickets, wrist bands, official posters. Also working with Clean Vibes to revamp their logo as well as make some designs for their box trucks for Bonnaroo. What is Clean Vibes? Chambers: Mick, you wanna answer that one? Stots: Clean Vibes is a recycling company that cleans up after all the major music festivals. They go everywhere from Lollapalooza, to Bonnaroo, to Mountain Jam – all over the place. Um, they have 4, Layin’ Pipe

a really great crew of people there, and yeah, they’re doin’ a great job. Earlier, you mentioned a whiskey distillery that DePreter is doing work for. What can you tell me about that? Chambers: Hillrock Distillery – I think it’s one of two in America that does farm to bottle distilling – grow their own grain, distill it on sight…it’s a solera whiskey…which, I don’t really know what that means – Stots: (laughing) Chambers: - It’s fancy and it’s expensive, and I’ve tasted it – Stots: What is it, eighty bucks a bottle? Chambers: Nintey, ninety five bucks a liter Stots: (whistles)…and the brewmaster was the understudy for the guys over at, ah, Makers Mark. Stots, you were talking about a project involving garments – a slightly different medium for DePreter. What’s up with that? Stots: Well I am ah, working, ah, for a fashion designer named Rowena Gill ( and she’s doing a clothing line called ‘La Chasse’. And they’re doing these jackets – kind of like horsehunt-jackets, ya know like the red jackets that the hunt masters wear with the beagles runnin’ around and everything? But it’s not just red ones – that style, but different textures and colors…So I did a logo for them, and right now I’m working on their hangtags and the woven labels for the jackets…So yeah trying to wrap that up…It’s fun too, ‘cause, ya know, comin’ up with a logo for any company is rewarding because you know that it’s gonna be seen everywhere, and that’s what the brand is based off of so it just – it makes it fun. Have you guys encountered any significant obstacles in the past? May 2013, 5

Chambers: Nina Zagat of Zagat Surveys. Stots: You know, the restaurant surveys? Chambers: We did her personal house sign – her farm sign. Stots: And it was ‘Zagat-rated’ (laughs) What does that mean? Chambers: They rate restaurants all around the world. It’s one of the top restauraunt rating – Stots: Sometimes in restaurant windows, you’ll see ‘Zagat Rated’… It was one of those things where you really wanna do everything perfect ‘cause she’s like a big-name client…but as far as tough stuff…OH! A couple months ago, we were doing signs for an estate in Redding, Connecticut: MapleHill Farm. They had four different buildings that they wanted signs for, with dates, you know, one of them was ‘Captain John Nash House’ from ‘1727’ or something like that. Then there was a ‘stone cottage’ and a ‘guest house’ and a ‘farmstead house’. And there was some miscommunication between myself and the property manager and I ended up messing up the date on one of ‘em, and switching up two signs – the sizes were different and everything. So, we had like five days to re-do it. So there were four hand-carved signs with frames that all had to be re-done. So, we basically had to work overtime. It was incredible (smiling). I carved like, all – all the signs in like one and a half days – my back was killing me. What does the carving process involve? What kind of tools do you use? Stots: When we carve, we use a specific material called HDU – High Density Urethane. Once it’s painted, it looks like the same as any other wooden sign. And it’s eally nice and soft. So what we do is, we have exacto carving kits. Chambers: It’s all carved by hand. There’s no machines. 6, Layin’ Pipe

Stots: The way that we do it is we plot out a paint mask and we stick it down so that we have a clear outline of the letters. And basically, we carve inside those lines, and sand it nice and smooth, and then paint it, and peel off the mask, and you’re good to go… What distinguishes us from all the other sign shops in the area is that things are hand-crafted. Ya know, we don’t have a machine cutting out all the letters – we don’t use stock templates. Chambers: All the designs that we come up with are from scratch. We use Adobe Illustrator and work with our client to get what they want…pretty legit (smiles) So what’s your schedule like? How do you manage time? Chambers: Well, Mick’s on a different schedule than mine. Mick wakes up a little earlier. I wake up around 9:30, 10 o’clock in the morning. Um, work in the shop ‘til probably… Stots: 5 o’clock, usually call it quits. Chambers: We eat dinner, and then I usually have some other design work to do at night so I’m on the computer until around 2 in the morning. Stots: And then I go play on my torch and blow glass…but yeah it really depends on the work. I mean, we’ve worked fourteen hour days before when we’ve had a lot a shit to do. And then, we’ll have a slow week where we’re not doin’ much. But we try to keep busy o when don’t have any sign stuff to do, we try to do things around the house – some landscaping or some painting, whatever. Clean up the shop, build some kinda new shelf. Basically, we gotta try to earn our day every day, I guess. Chambers: I don’t like sitting by the computer when it’s nice out. Stots: Yeah, that sucks. Chambers: So, I kinda wait until late at night to do all my postal work and all my design shit. May 2013, 7

Stots: Yeah, Curt’s more of a night owl. Chambers: I’m totally a night owl. So here we got this cool little circle. What happened from the point this didn’t exist to the point where I’m holding it now?

Chambers: So, we get 4’ x 8’ sheets of HDU. I traced out a stencil from the bottom of a gallon paint jug. Cut it out with a jigsaw. Sanded the edges. Um, put a coat of primer on it, followed by another coat of white primer. And then black paint – a couple coats of black paint. I then went on the computer and designed the Stealie with the Bruins logo in it, which I then exported out to our vinyl plotter. Our vinyl plotter cut out the masked area that I didn’t want painted. Um, then we put the mask down right on there, and I paint a coat of black first on top. Then, I go in and paint the colors on there. As you can see, I have like five coats of yellow and it’s still kinda transparent-ish, but they came out pretty cool. 8, Layin’ Pipe

Stots: Yeah, but besides HDU, we use wood also. We do MDO (Medium Density Overlay) plywood. We use that in certain applications. We’ve done some cedar signs. We actually recently did a sign for the Hudson Company – it’s an antique wood company. It’s ah restored redwood. So that was pretty cool. Chambers: It was (salvaged) from a NYC water tower. Stots: Ya know, MDO plywood is gonna be cheaper than HDU, but a lot of clients prefer HDU because it doesn’t absorb water, so it’s not gonna deteriorate over time, the way plywood does. It won’t split open and crack…and plus, we don’t carve the plywood ‘cause that would be a total pain in the ass. Chambers: Sometimes we get customers that want sand-blasted cedar signs… Stots: Yeah, and we’ve also done plaques – like for the Hotchkiss school, which is a prep school – actually the number two prep school on the East Coast – We were doin’ plaques for them for a while – hardwood plaques, oak, red oak, and maple. So, why design work? Studies show that corporate desk positions are much more financially profitable. Chambers: I don’t want a boss. Stots: Two words: Fuck that…Pretty much it’s like that saying goes ya know, you like what you do, you never, you never work a day in your life. It does really feel more of like a lifestyle than a job because it’s just like what we do. On the weekends, it’s like, ya know, you don’t have anything to do then you just work on something. And it’s fun. I mean, we get to mess around with carpentry and design and painting…You know we also do like custom, hand-painted imagery, so…you get to do something different every day. Chambers: Yeah, we had a client, Kate Weiner from Art Of The May 2013, 9

Tart, and she wanted a sign for her farmers market, but she wanted to be able to put it in her car and bring it with her. So, she had us come up with a design for a collapsible sign, where the base is actually like interlocking pieces of wood. There’s a post and then all the signs that go on the sides are all made from like – you know how you have those runners for book cases and you can slide those little metal pieces into the wall? We made the signs out of those so she can put ‘em where ever she wants. Stots: (laughing) You kinda have to see it to understand it. If somebody wants design or sign work done, how can they contact you? Stots: depreterdesigns is our website. is our e-mail. And our main phone is (518) 242–9011 Chambers: You can also find us on facebook by searching depreterdesignsllc. And you can also check out my personal artwork at What’s your favorite track that you’ve been listenin’ to lately? Chambers: Lately would have to be…um…that’s a toughy… Stots: I like that song by Beats Antique… Chambers: ‘Cat Skillz’? Stots: ‘Cat Skillz’, very dope. Chambers: I would have to go with whoever sings ‘Spirit in The Sky.’…and / or any song from Billy Joel. Stots: Oh yyyeah! Annny song by Billy Joel. Chambers: Probably ‘Captain Jack’ (laughing) So Stots, you blow glass in your free time. Where can we find 10, Layin’ Pipe

your work? Stots: My Etsy site is BubbleTrashGlass. That’s one word. ‘Bubble’ like ah, you know, you blow bubbles. ‘Trash’ is like the shit that you throw out. And ah, ‘Glass’ like, ah, that stuff you…use to drink liquids out of. I’ve got my different glass stuff on there. I got my pipes, jars. I’ve got some HDU stealyourface signs that I made including one with a 24 Karat gold-leaf grill – it’s pretty gangster. Chambers: We also have a DePreter DeSigns Etsy. Stots: Yes, we do. But we’re still workin’ on it. We still don’t have anything posted yet. Chambers: But check in – check back! (laughs)…For that we’re gonna be doing small – Stots: Stock signs. Chambers: Yeah, stock signs. Stots: We’re tryin’ to get into like, a solid stock of stuff on Etsy. What do you mean, ‘stock’? Stots: So – it’s basic sizes with like – so say you’re getting the 12 x 16 inch sign, ah, green, with the horse graphic, and your house number on it. Ya know? It’s got a standars price. That way, we can make a whole shitload of blanks, and slap on the graphic and the number and send ‘em out real quick. What’s your favorite curse word? Chambers: Cunt. Stots: Fuck. Chambers: …Cunt. Stots: Fer Sure.

May 2013, 11

‘Join Or Die’ is made up of some dirty Southside Sabbath-like Mooks. Their set at Gorham Brothers Music (118 SEELEY RD.) this month, was one of their first.

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Awesome set. What’s your names? Lonnie. Mike. Nick. So we got Lonnie on guitar, Mike on drums and vocals and Nick on bass. How long you guys been playin’ together? Mike: We’ve been playin’ for a little over a year now, and we haven’t played very many gigs so we just startin’ to come out finally… This is actually our first gig in our home town Lonnie: We’ve played out in Earlville; those guys are great out there. (NOTE: JUNE 28th @ THE BARN – Street Rats, CounterPursuit and many, many more) They’re all open arms and, ya know, they’ll accept anybody, so. Do you guys live out there? Mike: No, we actually live here in the city – over on the southside. I like that one song about Syracuse; what was that called. Mike: Oh, Sewercuse!...yeah, it’s got it’s ups and downs; it’s like any other town – prolly a bit more rough parts than usual (laughing), but… How often do you guys practice? Mike: Ah, we actually just started practicing again – we took like, a good seven-month hiatus, so… Where can we find your music? Mike: We have CDs and demos on sale for a dollar. You can look us up on SYRACUSEBANDS.NET/JOINORDIE. May 2013, 13

We’re also on Reverb Nation and facebook. What’s the best swear word? Mike: Probably about – fuck. Lonnie: (laughing) Fuck. Nick: (laughing) Yeah, fuck.

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Sub X’ made it out from Dayton, OH. They’ve been lurking longitudinally across I90. I’m Angus. Ah, Matt. Angus: I play guitar. Matt: I play, ah, bass. How long you guys been playin’ together? Angus: I think they’ve been around for like five years – we joined up a couple years ago, so, this our third or fourth tour. It’s our longest tour. We’ve been out for a month, and it’s our first time to Syracuse. May 2013, 15

How’d you find yourselves here? Angus: Just networking, Reverb Nation, facebook and stuff. What’s your favorite part of Syracuse so far? Angus: Ah…well…I don’t know. Matt: We haven’t been here that long – We really didn’t do much today, so… Angus: We stared at some college chicks, I guess was the best part Matt: In our creepy white van. (laughing) Angus: That’s the way to do it. How long you guys in town? Angus: For tonight, then goin’ to Albany tomorrow…lots a tolls… So, what’s life like in Dayton? Matt: Well, pretty boring – that’s why we try to hit the road as much as we can, but… 16, Layin’ Pipe

How do you guys get like gas and food money? Angus: Ah…I don’t know…try to walk around the street, sell CDs and shit like that, but…we’ll get like 20 or 30 bucks tonight. Matt: And that’s gas for the next place, so… So, you guys all live and practice in the same spot back in Dayton. What’s that like? Angus: Well, It’s five hundred bucks a month – nice rooms, we can practice in the basement. It ends up bein’ like a hundred bucks a person if you do it right. The houses neighboring us are empty so there’s no one to deal with. It’s an easy town to live in where we can just do whatever. Matt: I work at a bowling alley; he works at a BBQ place. What’s the best curse words, in your opinions? Matt: I’m gonna say ‘Flubber-cunt’. Angus: Mine has to definitely be ‘Butt-face’. Mitch started Sub X in 2006. He sings and plays guitar. Sub X records at Refraze Studios in Kettering, Ohio and Paper Tiger Studios in Columbus, Ohio Mitch, what’s your worst tour experience? Mitch: Oh man, probably back in 2009. We ah, played this show at a place called Sinclair’s Pub in Long Island. We drove like eight hours from Eerie, PA. And, they told us they’d give us like a hundred bucks minimum. We get there, and it turns out to be a benefit for some like sixteen year old girl to get an abortion. And yeah, her boyfriend took all the money and left. So we drove like eight, nine hours out, didn’t get paid a dime. That sucked. I hope she got the abortion. There shoulda been plenty of money there (laughs). What’s your favorite curse word? May 2013, 17

Mitch: Ah…ah, I like to use like ‘Jesus-fuck’ and ya know, mash ‘em together like that You think you’ll come back to Syracuse? Matt: Yeah, definitely. Mitch: For sure. Angus: It’s on 90 or whatever, so we’re gonna try and come out and do this run as many times as we can – we’ll be back…

Kenny, the guitarist from the Street Rats (REVERBNATION.COM/ THESTREETRATS), is kind enough to get us privy-ed up to some knowledge about one of their tracks called “Six To Six’ It’s not about us. It’s about the carpenters union…It’s like their battle cry. Like I saw a poster at the Union Hall; it said ‘six to 18, Layin’ Pipe

six’, and then I read about it on the computer. And I was like, oh, that’d be cool. It’s about like, during the creation of the unions, people had to work long hours, fucken, they didn’t have nine to five or whatever…ya know, you just worked until they said you were done for the day. So, their rally cry was ‘six to six’ – which is twelve hours, but you would have the two hour lunch and one hour break throughout the day, so that workers could go home and eat and be with their families or whatever. They were rallying against, fucken, being made to work all the fucken time.

May 2013, 19

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aron Himself is getting his braces taken off after having them for “the better part of three years now. I’m actually getting rid of ‘em for money to a guy,” he says. “It’s been a few times now that the orthodontist screwed me out of getting’ them off.” Hook, the alleged braces-hunter, claims that he wants to fashion jewelry out of them. “He confronted me about it,” Aaron says. Hook is retired. He’s an avid NYS lottery player who’s always up for a good deal. Aaron plans on asking the dentist outright if he can have the braces for keepsies. He will be sure not to tell doc that he is going to re-sell them for cash. “I’ll tell him, look I need ‘em as a souvenir as a mento of my younger adulthood…even though that’d kinda be a lie…I hope they’re not puttin’ these things on another unlucky son-of-a-gun ‘cause I’d hate my mouth to be in someone else’s mouth – that’s pretty disturbing in it’s own right.” Ideally, Aaron wants fetch fifty bucks for his metal mouth. “That’s a decent chunk-a money – right now I’m actually broke, so. The money really counts right now.” My co-worker, Greg, says that if Aaron can settle on fifty with Hook – he will double that. An outrageous claim, but I guess we are in new territory as far as normal business transactions go. Aaron makes it very clear that if the price is not right, he will wait for another buyer. He will not stand for any low-ballers who try to downplay their value “I’ve noticed how they shine a lot. Ya know – I’ve had ‘em for three years. Greg’s aunt is a dental hygienist. He confers with her and presents the expert knowledge: “Braces are made from stainless steel. They are plated with either silver or platinum, depending what you are or are not allergic to. Now, if they are platinum, they are actually worth less than they are if they are silver. Here’s why: Less than a gram of silver is still worth something. Unfortunately platinum is worth less because less than a gram of platinum is worth almost nothing. So, if they’re platinum, they’re worth about ten dollars – top and bottom, all together – ten dollars. If they’re silver, they’re worth about thirty dollars.” If you wish to bid on Aaron’s orthodontics, please e-mail me at

May 2013, 21

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Layin' Pipe No. 2  

Hate Mail, Photos, and Phone Numbers.

Layin' Pipe No. 2  

Hate Mail, Photos, and Phone Numbers.