Specialist Technique & Process 3 – External Job

8th January 2016

Equipment used:

Canon 5D mk iii
24-105mm f4 lens
‘Studio’ backdrop – 1 white sheet, black frame structure
2x Ambient ‘studio’ lights
Table

Geoff Latz, a local artist, approached me and proposed that he wanted a portfolio made of his artwork – but because his artwork is made of scrap metal, is heavy and of a large scale – he needed a photographer to photograph it all so that he can take his artwork with him and show it – without having to actually take it! The guidance I was given for photographing the pieces was that the artwork had to be the main focus with no distractions – so I thought white backdrop, 2 ambient lights (not flash lights because I knew these would create more of a reflection off of the artwork – as most of it is made out of polished metal) and a table to put the artwork on, and I could create an infinity type curve using the white material backdrop. This was a paid job and I photographed for 7 hours over the expanse of 1 day. I photographed the pieces where he keeps them – in his unit in Bradford.

2 of his pieces had been bought by a client previously and were hung up in her home. So Geoff and his P.A picked me up in the morning and our first port of call was her house to photograph the 2 pieces. She had an orange/hued ambient light set up to light the pieces up (as homes usually have – this warm type of light). I took a few shots with this lighting but it wasn’t working, however the lady client said she had some more ambient lights that she actually used for photography herself and she let me use those to light up the pieces evenly on each side. This was a huge help and although I had my lights with me, it was good for me to test how these lights were. Looking back at all the images though, the images of the 2 pieces in her house aren’t consistent with the rest of the images because my lights are white light whereas hers were quite yellow. I should have set my white balance to tungsten light to balance it out but even so, looking back I should have really used my lights, to get consistency throughout the images. I will have to edit the photos now to resemble something similar to the rest of the shots.

After photographing at the clients house we set off to the unit to set up and photograph the rest of the pieces. I felt these shots went well but in post-process I noticed that the actual light from the bulbs in the unit ceiling were yellow compared to my white lights, so I had to edit each image to take out the yellow/orange hue in the background of some of the images. Another problem was my sheet was still too small because of some of the larger scale models he had created and wanted me to photograph. This meant a lot of post process to re-create the background and make it look seamless and to a professional standard. This has taught me to always turn the lights off in the room before photographing! And to buy a bigger more reliable backdrop.

Geoffs plan is to also send his portfolio out to places in London, specifically Harrods. He is aiming high and trying to get his artwork known throughout the country. This is also a great opportunity for me to get my photography sent out far and wide. Hopefully something will come of sending out his portfolio, and the Geoff Latz Art Team will get more and more recognised for the skill sets they each possess. Another plan Geoff had for these images was to get them printed as posters so that people can buy the prints of his artwork and be reminded of the message¬†behind each of them. Specifically in a few weeks he and the pastor of my church are going to Palermo, Sicily to attend a conference, and because of the messages behind his work and it’s specific nature, he will be taking print outs of these images of his art work to sell at the conference.

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