Thursday, July 22, 2010
|Staff at the end of Shoot|
So much of commercial photography is engineering. Clients usually supply you with who or what, maybe when, but solving the problems of where & how are your responsibility. Confronted with taking a photograph of a priceless 1933 Bugatti automobile on display in a museum exhibition meant we could not have it delivered to our studio. The museum had plenty of room to work in but shooting cars is one of the most difficult lighting tasks. The light source has to be larger than the object. When we shoot shiny, metallic vehicles outside, soft overcast morning or evening sunlight makes the entire sky the light source. But inside we have to assemble huge, complicated light banks. For this job the added complication was to construct, transport, then reassemble the light on location.
The clock was ticking. So I designed all the pieces to be inexpensive, lightweight & simple. I also employed several assistants & interns split into three crews, each assigned separate tasks to speed up the action. One crew prepped the car, one built the wooden frame & white Foamcore flat & another group handled the cameras & computers. We had to run long extension cords to various parts of the museum so as not to overload the ancient electrical system. We brought in four Profoto powerpacks hooked up seven light heads for the final image. Pocket Wizards triggered the assemblage. Large white reflectors on the sides created the highlights on the fenders. The whole crew raised a canvas background handpainted years ago for shooting cars & trucks.
We had a videographer & two cameras for the stop action multimedia part. Stationary cameras were set up on ground level & in the balcony overlooking the set. All post-production was done later in house. Four & a half hours was reduced to less than two minutes in the final video.