On May 22, we asked you to submit images that we can show in our booth at this year’s Photokina trade fair. The response was better than we ever could have hoped for. We got way more images than we can show and we consequently had to choose just a few. The final selection consists of images from previous blog participants as well as images from you, our readers.
We will present these images continuously here on our blog, right up until Photokina begins. Stay tuned. And to all those who shared their work with us – thank you! It is truly inspiring to see the stuff you create with the help of our gear.
Tim Wallace is British commercial photographer, specialized in car photography. Many of you should recognize the image above from a recent interview we did with Tim, in which he carefully, step by step, described how he set his lights, one by one.
“When I first started a lot of people said I wouldn’t succeed because my car photography was too much like art,” said Tim. “But I continued to do what I believed in and, as it turned out, it worked just fine! The thing is that most cars I shoot are pretty expensive, and the people who consider buying them already know what they look like. What they want to know is what the cars feel like. And that’s what I try show: the personality of the car.”
Christopher Wadsworth is a new acquaintance of ours, so we asked him to tell us a little about himself.
“I’m a fashion photographer currently based in Toronto and I’ve lived and worked in Asia. Travelling and living outside my culture gave me another language, the realization that the world is much friendlier than the nightly news would suggest, a taste for spicy food and a fondness for days over 30ºC.”
Can you tell us something about this shoot?
“This is a story that I dreamed up and shot for Harper’s Bazaar Thailand. I lived and worked out of Bangkok in the early 2000′s, and then when I returned to North America, I’d produce and shoot stories for them in Canada and New York. I had been shown Stephanie Shui’s portfolio by Next a few months earlier and thought she was something special. Some models have a darker tone to them and really add an emotional depth to a photograph or film. One of the things that experience teaches you is how to read a portfolio and casting is as crucial as any part of a shoot. If the casting is off you’re swimming against the current all day long.
“I like context. A location can become another character in a story and can really help complete a concept. I also believe it helps the model because it gives them a jumping off point and allows them to find the character they are inhabiting. It’s something to push back against. I think questions are more intriguing than answers. I like extremes, very dark images or very blown out images because both allow you to hide something. This way you tell part of the story and let the viewer fill in the rest.
“On camera Stephanie is very sensual and intense so I worked off of her strengths and combined them with my interests. I thought the story would be that much better if I could create a small world for her to inhabit and i didn’t want a more typical studio beauty shoot. We used the stylist’s car and so we could shoot during the day I found a 3 car garage to use. I sprayed down the car windows and used some fog from time to time to help spread the light around. The water on the windows was crucial as it gave depth to the images ( foreground background details), it also hides part of the model so the viewer has to actively look through to see what’s there. Again that hide and seek aspect is about creating the expression of something and not simply an exact rendering of it.
“For me the appeal of fashion work has always been that you can dress someone up and tell fantastic stories, everything is a little more extreme than it is in life yet it can still be relatable if you believe the emotion that the model is projecting. Here the stylist and make up artist helped make the story that much stronger, for example the nails are a bit much for everyday but help create the character here.”
How did you light it?
“For this shoot I used 4 heads (3 Grid Reflectors and a small softbox) and 2 or 3 D4 packs. I really love the D4 for beauty work when recycling time isn’t as crucial. When I have multiple heads going it is amazing to be able to so quickly and independently adjust a head in very small increments. With a set up like this I’ll sketch out in my head where I want the lights and roughly position them. I’ll fire them all and use that as a starting point, then I’ll take an image using only one head at a time so I can really tell what each light is doing the image and where. Then I’ll bring them together in groups to see how they work in smaller groups or all together. Here I took the approach of lighting the scene as a whole, I had my starting point of where I thought I was going to get the best shot but then I’ll always walk around and explore as I go. Happy accidents occur this way and the mood can be quite different a few feet in either direction and that small change can help me to see the story in a way I hadn’t imagined when I planned it. In this case the shot was not where I had planned it all but all the lights came together in unique way and Stephanie keep giving me amazing poses to work with.”
“For this story I chose a palette of blue with some red, for the cool night tones mixed in with some head and taillights, again it doesn’t have to conform exactly to how the light would actually be but suggest the context. Knowing this I could brief the H+M and stylist. The stylist pulled materials that would catch the light helping to define them in the dark. We knew red would pop so that was the choice for lips and accessories. I gelled the heads with Lee filters and left the key light natural. During the shoot played with power levels or doubling of the gels to further accentuate a colour.
See more of Christopher’s work here.
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