UNC Computer Science Dept. Turns 50

The UNC Computer Science Department at Chapel Hill celebrates its 50th birthday this year and is the second oldest computer science department in the nation. College of Arts and Sciences magazine editor Kim Spurr commissioned our team to illustrate this anniversary for the cover story. We knew we had to make a portrait of the department’s founder, retiring chair, and computer science giant, Dr. Frederick P. Brooks Jr. If we could also show the department’s diverse faculty and student population, all the better. We focused our efforts on a composite image of 7 students and faculty holding computer equipment old and new. From left to right, doctoral student Femi Alabi holds an abacus next to computer scientist Cynthia Sturton who is seated with a mechanical adding machine. Department Founder Frederick P. Brooks Jr. stands next to refrigerator size IBM computer from the early 80’s that has less computing power than the iPhone he is holding in his hand. Henry Fuchs wears an early virtual reality headset. Montek Singh embraces a desktop iMac and a laptop Apple computer. Current Department Chair, Kevin Jeffay, holds a tablet computer iPad and Ron Alterovitz, poses with robot “Baxter.” Our cover image of Baxter the robot holding balloons and party horn emerged during our shoot of each department member. Photography by Steve Exum of exumphoto.com

Click here to read the full story by Mark Tosczak. http://unc.edu/spotlight/comp-sci-turns-50

Elizabeth Bradley Home Botanical Collection

Elizabeth Bradley Home’s Botanical Collection is available now as a hand made, finished needlework pillow that can be ordered online in addition to their tapestry kits. The team at Exum Photography and Ink Photography Productions worked in collaboration with the creative team at Elizabeth Bradley Home to create a beautiful group of lifestyle imagery surrounding the collection. Many thanks to the creative team at EBH: Mary Beth DeLoach, Lizzy Hardy and Vicki Callaway for their trust in our studio. Elizabeth Bradley Designs was founded in 1986. They have been designing and manufacturing quality tapestry kits and continue to add new designs each year. With a desire to provide needle workers with quality heirloom designs combined with an inspiration of historical needlework, their kits are crafted to provide customers with hours of stitching enjoyment and delight in the finished work. Elizabeth Bradley Designs’ offices are located in Oxford, England and Raleigh, NC in the USA. Photography by Steve Exum of exumphoto.com

Robeson County


Robeson County is NC’s poorest county where more than 34% of the residents live in poverty, according to the 2012 US census. Business North Carolina Magazine commissioned Steve Exum to illustrate a cover story about the county’s struggle to innovate and emerge from its economic challenges. Robeson has a diverse and colorful history of ethnic cultures including black, white, Lumbee Indian and Hispanic. Many of the county’s residents blame international trade agreements like NAFTA and “globalization” as the root cause of economic decline which caused thriving textile industries to shut their doors around the county and move manufacturing jobs outside the US. Thanks to folks like community advocate, Mac Legerton, who directs the Robeson County Center for Community Action and the Director of Economic Development, Greg Cummings, opportunities are emerging for the county. To read Business North Carolina’s full story click here. Photography by Steve Exum

UNC Law Cover

Every assignment is an honor and a privilege. Cover assignments come with that extra pressure to make something special. As a creative, I am guilty (at times) of trying to show my photographers muscle and pull out all the stops. I’ll bring every imaginable prop or lighting technique to a shoot to give it a 110%. I always want to surpass my client’s expectation. This project, however, benefited from simplicity and great art direction from Katherine Kershaw who is the artist behind the layout of the Carolina Law School magazine. Our goal was to illustrate how research done by the school’s faculty and students has a nationwide reach. We dry mounted a giant map of United States and pinned down cities impacted by Carolina Law with tacks. Voila!sometimes less is more. I won’t even begin to paraphrase the article but it is an impressive read authored by multiple faculty. Click on the following link to see a digital copy of this Carolina Law issue.

Taming the wind to photograph a Solair Awning

Solair awnings create a comfortable outside living space anytime of day protecting you from the sun and rain at the click of a button. Want a lot of shade? Just push the remote button on a Solair PS500 awning and you can cast a shadow up to 25 feet wide and 12 feet deep over your deck or terrace. The marketing team for Solair awnings recruited Exum Photography to photograph an awning in Woodstook, Georgia at the home of Jane and Roger (the friendliest folks I know in GA). It was important to choose our weather as you need mid day sun to appreciate what an awning can do. As predicted we got our sun, AND just to challenge us, mother nature sent wind … lots of wind. Solair awnings are designed with a sensor that automatically retracts the awning under high winds … protects the awning, protects the house. So we disconnected the awning power source. Problem solved, right? Not exactly, the wind only increased as our mid day light closed in. Postponing the shoot was a last resort. The awning swelled and moved like a giant sail. It just would not sit still. We needed to tame the awning long enough to get our shot. Rope! Let’s tie it down and Photoshop the rope out later. We had rope and homeowner, Roger, brought more rope. We tied the structural pieces down and tamed our awning. However, the small overhanging valance kept flapping in the wind. It would not lay down. What now? Fishing line! We tied down the valance flapping material with fishing line.  Our team of 9 pitched in and scrambled to tie down the valance, literally sewing it down. Voila! The awning sat still in the whipping wind and from our perch on the man lift we got our shot. Thank you Solair Shade Solutions team members, David Heiman and Madison Owen, for your willingness to let us experiment taming the awning. Thank you homeowners, Roger and Jane, for pitching in too and for the wonderful dinner we shared after the shoot. Many thanks to the Exum Photo team Griffin, Jenna and Eric and to our stylist Amy Matthews from Crews Inc production company out of Atlanta.  Photography by Steve Exum