Monday, October 7, 2013

This would never happen with film!!!

Having been a film photographer just a little longer than the almost 21 years I have been a digital photographer; I know the good and bad of both mediums. I prefer digital.

Here is a project that came to us from an international corporation headquartered in Sweden. They have a small division here in San Diego. They produce a calendar each year. Each page of the calendar represents a city that  a division is in. There are only two cities from the USA each year. This year they chose San Diego as one of the cities.

The assignment was to photograph a specific employee, picked by the division, in a location that says 'San Diego'. It had to show a lot of people moving about the individual. They had to be blurry and the model in focus.

We chose two locations to give them a choice. My favorite was the San Diego Zoo. Jack liked the Gas Lamp District.

Here are the two finished calendar pages:

Well, this wouldn't be an interesting story if it ended here. Here is how we completed the assignment:
Each guy had to be photographed in our studio. The company did not want to spend the money to pay them overtime to hang out in downtown San Diego at night!

We shot each one facing left and facing right. We shot them with the clothes they brought.

We had checked out the sites before hand, to figure out where to shoot it from and the time of day to shoot. We shot some quick shots to get the 'ok' from the client. We gave them six locations to choose from.

 When we got there we had a few surprises. One, the ticket booths and the San Diego Zoo sign didn't light up at night! That took out the interesting lighting we were counting on.

Secondly, we were not counting on the overcast sky. Coastal Edy. What the heck.

This is our shot for the background:
  The sky looked horrible. And it was cold! We used some sky shots I had in my files that I had shot in Wyoming to give us that beautiful sky. 

Then we spent about 1 1/2 hours shooting people walking around. Those up close were blurred and the one's in the background not as much.

 The real Elephant topiary trees had some problems. The one on the right looked real bad and was kinda out of the picture. So this one was retouched and flipped for the other side. It covered up the dumb three sided sign in the picture.

All in all we shot over 100 shots at the zoo and 65 shots at the San Diego Gas Lamp district. On a Friday night! Parking was awful.

The client could not have been happier. Our local contact received high praises from his Swedish bosses.

We did our job, had fun and made a bunch of money. Good assignment. The 'we' I keep mentioning is my really good digital artists: Jack White and Shelley Jackson. Shelley has worked for me for eight years, Jack three. Together, we are a good team.