roth and ramberg want you to turn the page

It’s March 1st and if you have a Roth and Ramberg Calendar then it is time to flip it over. This year was our 20th calendar, thus the theme ‘Whats Yer 20’ was born. It documented our road trip from Chicago to Walcott, Iowa. A drive that would normally take four hours that took us 8 days! During that time we met and photographed a lot of great people. One side of the calendar has our road trip photos, the otherside has black and white portraits of truckers at the World’s Largest Truckstop in Walcott.

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While driving along the countryside, we spotted an odd building. We had to turn around just to see if it was, in fact, a drive-thru liquor store. Driving, drinking… sort of an interesting combination. There we met the owner of J + J Stop + Drive Thru liquor store - Tom Klukaczynski. Listening to our story, Tom was a little hesitant at first; he seemed to be a bit of a conspiracy theorist. However, in the end he happily posed for photos and shared lots of stories.

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Besides a calendar, we also produced an online magazine with greater detail of our roadtrip. How do you get it? Well, download our free app (details at the bottom) and it’s there along with the previous two calendar road trips ‘Off the Grid’ and ‘In Search of the Loch Ness Monster’.

Here are a few spreads in and around Illinois and our encounter with Tom, the Drive-Thru man.


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The other side of our calendar features a young couple; Travis and Kayla. They were both at the Trucker Jamboree in Walcott Iowa. We couldnt resist the matching t shirts!!

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If you don’t have a Roth and Ramberg Calendar, then let us know and we will send you one. If you want to read more, you can go online or donwload our app to read our entire ‘Whats Yer 20’ road trip.

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roth and ramberg get 'naked in the house'

Recently I (Dale) had the opportunity to participate in an art project titled “Naked in the House”. A group of photographers participated in this project and the rules were quite simple. We each had 30 minutes and 10 polaroids to come up with 2 interesting photographs of a naked model… in a house, of course. I was definitely in over my head. We don’t shoot much fashion at all and I haven’t photographed any nudes since I was in school. I did however like the idea of being out of my comfort zone, makes us better photographers, I think??

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I had a quick tour of the house and met the model. I decided to photograph one shot of her laying on her stomach on the bed. The plan was to not show too much, leaving more to the imagination.

I had my camera and light meter all ready to go. I was planning on using our 4 by 5 view camera but I soon realized it was medium format polaroid film we were shooting instead of 4 by 5… my first mistake. I quickly grabbed an instant camera that was provided and took a photo, with the videographer documenting the whole time. Down to about 20 minutes when I pull the first polaroid. Completely black! I turn the exposure dial to lighten and shoot another photo… second mistake, as I found out after that lighten actually meant darken?? I pulled the next polaroid and it’s black too. Not panicking yet, I use another camera that was there. It was some sort of 4 by 5 camera but quite different from anything I’ve ever used before.

The ground glass didn’t seem to rotate so the dark slide had to be accessed from the bottom up and it was flexible. Regardless, I set up a shot and get an exposure. Great. Not what I wanted but I fiddle a little more, but I’m nervous as I’m trying to figure out this camera, with a naked woman laying on a bed and a video guy in my face. I take two more photos. Great. I got a decent simple shot, nothing award winning, but classic. As I put the dark slide into the camera, the end of it breaks. Now down to about 10 minutes I have to decide what to do. Only 3 polaroids left. If I take out the stuck dark slide to look through the camera, I will expose a polaroid each time so in reality I would only have 2 shots left. I decide instead to use my arms to measure the distance from the camera to the model to guess at the focus. I still remember the look on her face watching me wondering what the F&^% I’m doing. We change locations quickly and I put the camera down where I think it should be, use my arms as the focus distance and shoot. I proceed to shoot the last three photos the same. Basically shooting without being able to look thru the camera or focus. In the end I got an okay shot. 

The experience was nerve-wracking but in the end I had to laugh…  technical disaster, but a good reminder to always know your gear before you shoot. Thanks to Brent Mykytyshyn for organizing and putting it all together.

Here’s the two shots that were in the show and the video of the behind the scenes of all the shooter. And by the way, both shots ended up placing 2nd in a three way tie. Who knew?

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Naked in the House from Micheal Welchman on Vimeo.

roth and ramberg and the guttenberg press

No, we’re not talking about the printing press invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1450. Although interesting… we think the town of Guttenberg has it beat as far as interest goes. 

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Guttenberg is a sleepy little town located in Iowa. It’s nestled next to the Mississippi river and it’s one of the many places we visited last year on our ‘What’s Yer 20’ adventure. In case you know nothing about our photo road trip, basically we used social media to determined where we should travel to next on our drive from Chicago to Walcott, Iowa, home of the World’s Largest Truckstop.

In this case, the town of Prarieburg was a bit of a dud so we proceeded to the second choice of our followers… Guttenberg.

We met and photographed a few people there and I guess we made a bit of an impression as it we recently made the front page of the local newspaper.

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Here is the entire article:

By Molly Moser

Dale Roth and Michelle Ramberg are the Canadian photography duo Roth and Ramberg. Each year for the past 20 years, they’ve been publishing a calendar of their photos. In recent years they’ve been traveling to places like Las Vegas, Scotland, and Newfoundland in search of potential calendar pages.  

Last summer, Roth and Ramberg passed through Guttenberg on their way to the World’s Largest Truck Stop in Walcott, and captured the local character in their photographs. 

“This year was our 20th calendar, so we came up with the ‘What’s Yer 20’ theme and flew into Chicago. We drove from there to Walcott, home of the World’s Largest Truck Stop,” said Roth. ‘What’s yer 20’ is CB talk for ‘what’s your location.’ The phrase, made popular by Smokey and the Bandit, embodied the photographers’ idea to photograph truck drivers for their calendar.

Roth and Ramberg let their social media connections lead the way; Facebook and Twitter followers decided the photographers’ route as they traveled. Reaching Guttenberg, they filled up with gas and booked a room at The Landing. 

The duo was drawn to the vintage bar sign outside of Moxies Tap, where they met and photographed owner Jerri McGuine. “The name of the bar suited her, and she was full of it… Moxie, that is,” said Roth and Ramberg in the digital book they made to document their travels. 

“They were very pleasant to be around,” said Jerri, “We talked for quite a while, and then they started shooting pictures.” Roth and Ramberg took a candid photo of Jerri sitting cross-legged atop the bar, which can be viewed along with many other photographs from their trip on their website at www.rothandramberg.com, under the ‘2013 Project’ tab.

In a characteristic show of Midwestern hospitality, Jerri set the travelers up for a tour of Lakeside Ballroom the following day. “I think the size and history of the place struck them as intriguing,” said co-owner Kari Friedlein, who gave the photographers a tour. Roth and Ramberg posted photos and a description of the historic ballroom on their website. 

Before they went on to visit The Grotto in North Buena Vista and Breitbachs (both the feed store and the restaurant) in Balltown, the photographers made a final stop in Guttenberg at Rausch’s Café. Sue Rausch agreed to let them take her photo, posing in front of the café’s wood paneled walls and chrome barstools wearing a vintage apron. “They were really nice, friendly people,” said Sue, describing them as “down to earth, but edgy.” 

At the conclusion of the road trip, Roth and Ramberg decided to make two calendars – one of the truckers they met in Walcott, and one of the people they met along the way. With the snap of their camera that day last summer, Sue Rausch became a calendar girl. She was chosen to be Roth and Ramberg’s Miss September of 2013.

In Western Canada, the travelers are known for photographs of people in their advertising work. Roth and Ramberg look for interesting people in their everyday environments for their calendar. 

“We met incredible, hospitable people along the way, and the people in Guttenberg and nearby Balltown were among the friendliest for sure,” said Roth. “As usual with our calendars, we realized that people everywhere are generally hard working, great people who are more than happy to help out, and Iowa was no exception.”

 

Here are some of the magazine spreads of our time in Guttenberg. Download our app if you want to read more.

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roth and ramberg shoot for rona

We recently had the opportunity to do some photography for some awesome people at Sid Lee (Montreal). The shoot was in Edmonton at a local Rona store. A few of the people from Sid Lee flew out and we had a wonderful time shooting and giving them the tour of Edmonton.

Since Rona has now merged with Totem Building Supplies, they wanted to convey the message that everything is still the same… great knowledgeable staff still giving that great Totem service. So we photographed employees in various departments in the store. A big thanks to Jasmine Ma for hair and makeup and Zoe Kreider for styling. The campaign is running as billboards and posters throughout Alberta.

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roth and ramberg want you to turn the page

It’s February and that means if you have a R&R Calendar then it’s time to flip the page.

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On the color side we have Ron Sabaallus who is owner of a great little railcar bar in a town called Sandwich. Of course as we discovered, Ron indeed has the best sandwich in Sandwich.

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On the back side of the calendar we have a bearded gentleman by the name of Rogr Clark. He was one of twenty truckers we photographed in Walcott, Iowa.

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To read more about Ron and the rest of our journey to Walcott, you can do two things. You can download our free app and read our ‘What’s Yer 20?’ magazine on your iPad or iPhone.

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Or you can go to www.rothandramberg.com and click on the ‘2013 project’ link and you can read the stories on your computer.  Oh, and if you would like a copy of our calendar then send us a note.

 Enjoy your February!

roth and ramberg say everyone mustn't get stoned

We decided we needed to do a promo to advertise the fact we have two offices. One in Calgary and the other in Vancouver. The idea was simple. If someone need to do a photo with greenery, well, it’s pretty hard to pull off in Calgary from Nov-April so we wanted our clients to know that we can pull off for them in Vancouver.

We contacted creative guy Brad at Wax and asked if he would help.

It started out as a simple postcard. Playing up on the fact that since we have a BC office we know where the “grass” is. So Brad wanted us to look as if we are super stoned. A great and fun idea.

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The problem is the more we thought about it, the more cautious we became. We have a lot of corporate clients as well as advertising clients. Some of those corporate clients are in the oil industry. We couldn’t take a chance that after seeing the promo they would be concerned we might be smoking something and going on site. Most of these places have a definite drug policy, and as suppliers, we are part of it.

So we tossed around some ideas of what we could do. It is obviously meant to be a joke, so why not treat it as one. If it were any other assignment we would handle it in a professional way. Do our research, come up with how best to execute and bring in the right people to make that happen.

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The idea became a “making of” video.  We got the talented Ryley Burghall from Joe Media to shoot video shotgun style. Leah Van Loon to help us with the wardrobe, and Teslin Ward for makeup.

We sourced the furniture and wallpaper, clothing. We did our research by watching classic Cheech and Chong and accomplished the stoned look via onions to make our eyes red, and severe makeup by Teslin.

 Here are some behind the scenes photos and of course the behind the scenes video.

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Hope you enjoy!

Roth and Ramberg get stoned from roth and ramberg on Vimeo.

 

 

 

roth and ramberg mail out the 2013 'what's yer 20' calendar

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2013 marks our 20th annual Roth and Ramberg calendar. 

Watch your mailbox. The ‘What’s yer 20?’ calendar will be arriving soon. 

Can’t wait to get the printed version? Go to our website to see the photos now. And you can download the Roth and Ramberg app to see more photos and all the stories or view the online version.

Keep on truckin’.

Dale and Michele

roth and ramberg and the sgian dubh maker

If you have one of our Roth and Ramberg calendars then you know it’s December and you should be looking at a photo of a man named Rab.

What’s a Sgian Dubh (pronounced skin-doo)? Well it’s a traditional knife worn in the sock of a kilt-wearing Scot.

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Where do you find a Sgian Dubh maker? Well, in the hills overlooking Loch Ness, of course. There, a man named Rab Gordon, hand makes the beautiful knives. He lives in an old stone farmhouse with his wife and young son. Inside one of the many buildings is a workshop beyond imagination. Think Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, if you are old enough to know what that means.

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Rab has a year long waiting list of people who want to own one of his pieces. Lucky for us, he took the time to be photographed in the driving rain and then share some of his whisky with us. Rab was the last person we photographed for our 2012 calendar. Soon after we made our way back to Edinburgh for our flight home. We miss Scotland and the people like Rab who made it a trip of a lifetime.

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roth and ramberg play catch up (5 of 5)

This is part five in our series of five blog posts where we are trying to update our portfolio and our blog. If you missed the first ones, you can check them out here.

This post finds us in Southern Alberta with our good friend Beau at Transalta. We casually mentioned one day how great it would be to photograph the wind turbines on their wind farm. Jokingly, we suggested how much Michele would like to stand on top of one of them!!

Well, Beau made it happen… well almost. Funny thing was, when we arrived it was too windy to climb on top. Regardless, Michele got to poke her head out the top and take some photos while Dale was securely planted on the ground.

Some behind the scenes photos:

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We got a series of photos they are using for their photo library and we had a ton of fun doing it!

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Here is a little behind the scenes video

roth and ramberg play catch up (4 of 5)

We’re getting near the end of our series. If you’ve missed the beginning ones, read them here.

This post is about some work we did with Maclaren McCann Vancouver and their client, First Calgary Financial. We shot a series of three ads which show just how much First Calgary is behind their customers, and literally watching their investments. It was a great campaign with lots to organize but well worth it. Thanks to the models from Dagaz and Details for their great acting ability.

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