I was asked to shoot the members of a board of a company called Pentair. They are a very large multinational US firm who deal with many different areas, oil, construction etc. They were in the uk and I had a fifteen minute window in which to shoot them for a group shot. Now, there were eleven of them and this is too many to shoot in one go on a white 9ft colorama (side by side anyway). I decided to break the group up and shoot them in four sections and fit them together in post. In order to do this you have to mock up what the final image will look like in your head so it will look seamless. It’s easy shooting four small groups but sticking them together so it looks like they were all shot in one go is quite tricky. Lighting wise; I had two large boom arms with my elinchrom heads with silver brollies above camera and angled sown slightly with a head on the floor with a softbox attached to act as a fill light to clear away any unwanted shadows etc. The colorama was lit cleanly so they could be cut out at later stage with relative ease. I did my usual tweaks in post and gave them the contrasty and de-saturated look i do to most of my work. The result was great and the client was happy. Pleas feel free to comment!
Whenever I shoot a landscape that I think will look better in black and white than colour (which happens a lot), I always shoot it in colour first. I find when converting a colour image to black and white and then adjusting the black and white in the… image-> adjustments ->black and white, this gives you so much control over the former colour in the photograph, by being able to adjust the reds, greens, yellows for example which affect only certain areas of the image by lightening and darkening them. This can lead to amazing control over the image and gives the image a much more visceral appearence. It is hard to go to somewhere like Yosemite and not come back with a load of images that resemble Ansel Adams so all you can do is find something interesting and wait for the light to be just right. This image (Americana 15), was all about the reflection, but it is one of those image that takes a while to work out what exactly is going on. No wonder he spent his whole life in the Sierra Nevadas, if i had the chance i probably would too.
Although I do love to have a play with images, sometimes you see an image and know that very little needs to be done (maybe a bit of spotting). During my trip to America, i was searching for an image that screamed USA USA… and i found it. The emptiness of America is awe inspiring and just when you think there is nothing of interest apart from the road stretched out before you, something jumps out and grabs you. This shot hand held for once, (I usually only ever take landscapes on a tripod so this was an exception). Americana1 was part of a large series of landscapes i took, different to most as it shows signs of human habitation but no less striking in its beauty and also symbolism. I love this shot, for me it screams america (I know, it is painted in the star spangled banner) but more how outwardly proud they are to be american. They could after all have left it plain… I am so glad they didn’t.
The second shot (Americana3) was back in the lovely Yosemite. Again, this image was worked on by dodging certain areas to lighten and burn others to darken to give a more 3 dimensional feel to the image itself. When I take a landscape I almost want it to look like you are looking at it in real life, like you could almost reach out and touch the trees or the water, if this makes sense?. Sometimes pictures just can’t do a scene justice so I try my hardest to rectify that. I have a real affinity with black and white photos, I am a more classic landscape photographer in a way i just prefer the range of tones in black and white, it gives it a timeless quality for me. Hope you like them.