I don’t photograph people often, but I enjoy it when I do. There are lots more balls to keep in the air. When shooting product, you can methodically move forward till you have what you want. With people, everything is always changing – especially with groups. It’s much easier with good models, so I try to have a casting session to see what they are like in front of a camera. As alway, I am interested in your thoughts.
Sometimes, all that is required is a simple honest portrayal of a product – one light well placed, simple background and a clean product. Actually, I often say that cleaning the product is responsible for 50% or more of your success shooting products. Of course, while not complex, it is not as simple as it looks. As always,I am interested in your thoughts.
My job is to find out what my clients want to say, and then figure out how to say it best. It’s shocking to me how many (direct) clients don’t understand this. When you write a paper, an email, a blog post, a book or anything really, it’s important to know what you are trying to say before you start. A thesis statement or an outline, even if it’s just in your head, is imperative if your writing is to be clear. Photography is no different! It’s just a visual language. PPG wanted a photograph to illustrate (say) that their new pigment is better. Which side do you prefer? As always, I am interested in your thoughts.
There are few things I like better than shooting product in the studio. From cars to vodka, it’s just a gas. Every product has it’s challenges. This lift truck has mat black next to shiny red paint and black interior trim. Fortunately, the shiny red can be turned into a plus. With a blue background, it really pops. We did tons of shots this day, so there was not time to make everything perfect. Retouching is always necessary, it just a question of how much and where you spend your time. As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.
There are details of every day life that must escape our attention. Who wants their head to explode? Plumbing is one of those things, it just works, hopefully. Let alone plumbing parts photography. I had the opportunity to work with a talented designer on a recent shoot. Shaping hoses to make pleasing contours. Controlling reflections to illustrate the part. Loads of fun. Really! Let me know what you think.
It takes a lot of parts to make a car and some of them are pretty small. The smallest of the parts above – seals for electrical connectors – is about a 1/2 long. Water and air add up to corrosion and failure, and these little guys keep it out. Photographing small products can be difficult because the parts are often displayed larger than they are in reality. For products that were never meant for display in the first place, making them this big exposes ALL of their flaws. It’s fun to photograph cars, but it’s fun to shoot the tiny little car parts that make them too. As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.
Most automotive parts are destined never to be visible. You can only see a battery if you pop the hood. While many things have changed dramatically in the construction of cars, most batteries are still acid and lead, same as they were 60 years ago. A123 Systems is making a lithium car battery for cars that use a “start-stop system” – mostly in cars overseas. We needed to show that this is not an ordinary battery, and showing the inside seems to do the trick. As always, let me know what you think.
While it may be true that you cannot live on bread alone, Zingermans’ breadcomes pretty close. I did not have to go to Ann Arbor to buy it, my local grocery store carries it. It is the best bread I’ve ever had, so it seemed a good subject for this still life. I thoroughly enjoy shooting rich low-key pictures. The fig jam is a nice extra element. As always let me know that you think.
This image for Goodyear was created in the studio and with stock photography from Medioimages/Photodisc. The process of shooting for strip or input photography as I heard a colleague call it, can be quite involved. For this illustration, we carefully matched the angle and perspective. To do this, you must first decide where you are going to place the image within the background. If it’s up close, you need to be closer to the product with a wider lens. In other words, you need to match the actual distance that it would have been had it been there when the background was shot. Moving the camera right or left just a few inches can make a huge difference. Camera height is crucial as well.
Next there is the lighting. In this case, I tried to keep the contrast a little lower than normal to match the relatively low contrast scene. We added artificial snow and ice too! On the windshield, after scattering the snow and ice, we ran the wipers to create the clear area on the windshield. We even captured the wipers in a few different positions, but they were not used because it got in the way of the people inside. We put snow and ice on the grill, bumper, hood and roof of the car. We also shot with the headlights on and off so that decision could be made later. Then Dave took a turn, and lit then shot the models. No easy feat with that many people in such a tiny space. The retoucher, hired by the agency, put it all together with a few touches of his own. As always, let me know what you think.
You can’t do great photography if you can’t remember your schedule. I depend heavily on my calendar to keep me punctual. I just found a calendar app for my iPhone that’s fantastic! I have been using Calvetica for a year or more. It makes entering events super easy, but seeing what’s coming up is where it falls down for me. Fantastical’s interface is amazing. See events for today, what’s coming up and a whole month at a time. Then, touch the top bar and you are instantly back to today. I tried their Mac application, but I’ve settled on BusyCal. Just a better interface than Apple’s Calendar App. As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.