Monday, May 29, 2023

Always Learning

I have been helping out the coworking space at which I spend most of my days. They are a great group of people and I enjoy working there. We recently moved to a new, much bigger location and decided that it was a good opportunity to update the image. I designed a new logo and a new web site. Part of that equation was some new imagery to go along with it.

The inspiration for the shoot was something I saw in an ad from photographer Dave Hill. Not his signature processing style, which nearly every photographer has tried to copy but the way he creates big scenes by compositing everything together. I have above average masking skills due to years of practice so I knew I could pull it off in post.

It would be quite a production to pull it off, and frankly, I think I bit off more than I could chew. I got my lights out of storage and planed the shoot in my head. The shoot was going to be in the evening and I was going to do some set-up in the afternoon. I ended up having a meeting that afternoon and didn't get back to the location until 6:30.

To top things off, it was scheduled at a time when there were lots of other things going on so the NWC members that we wanted present for the shoot were sparse. But the equipment was rented, some people showed up for it and we needed the photo so I forged ahead, determined to do the best I could with what I had.

The final shot is above. It is the composite of 4 exposures. If you look closely, you'll see several people are in the shot twice. Kind of a freaky effect. This was something we wanted to do with Tony, the owner of NWC, but not with anyone else. Unfortunately, we had a shortage of models so we had to make due.

There is a lot to be learned from this experience. The first being: planning, planning, planning. And it doesn't hurt to let other people in on the plan to get them on-board. I sometimes forget that most people don't have much of a concept of the amount of time and work that goes into a shoot like this, so I should have done a better job of managing people's expectations before and during the shoot.

Also, working on the image, there are some things I would change in shooting it and in lighting it. I was a little heavy-handed with the lighting and was trying to rush through it because several people were on time-constraints. I had an idea of the way I wanted to light it, but shooting on location comes with it's own set of constraints based on space. Being in that space a lot should have clued me into those constraints.

It was not a total disaster. Tony was excited to see the image and is equally excited to have it on the New Work City homepage. So, ultimately, the clients is happy. The final image is not bad even though it is no where near what my vision was. Sometimes the changes work out for the best, sometimes they don't. This one... let's just say I plan on reshooting this image at a later date.

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