In the world of professional photography, the success of the final image is often about style, and what is more stylish than the legendary (and iconic) Italian brand, Ferrari. I love cars, have a studio designed to shoot cars and, finally, a willing and beautiful subject in the 2015 Ferrari 458 Spyder – white with a stunning red leather interior.
In my photographic world, after having worked for over 44 years, one thing has remained constant – you are only only as good as your latest images. And this is a story about the process of conceiving and creating a set of photographs (and final conceptual graphics using them) that might have an impact on a specialty clientele to whom I want to provide my services.
To those who ask me what it is like to make ones living shooting pictures commercially, I reveal that, for me, the most important aspect of the job is the subject matter and how it is to be staged and presented. Once that is established, my craft and lighting skills and then my gear (cameras, lights, grip, etc…) are to be considered.
FYI, I shot these images using a Lumix G9 in high resolution mode with an Olympus Pro 17mm f1.2 lens mounted to it. The lights are two ARRI L7C’s (providing the gel colors), a Litepanels SOLA 6+ (projected through a pattern onto the background), two SOLA 4+ lighting the wheels/tires and a number of scattered Aputure AL-H198C’s (at 3200K for warmth). I also have a Chimera 10ft x 30ft light box that is populated with LEDs to light from the top when needed (positionable with ropes as it is suspended from the ceiling using a pulley system). Note that the Chimera can also be very helpful when turned off, acting as a broad reflector.
Since I already have a good idea of how my studio can be used to create an environment to stage a car like the Spyder, when the car arrived, I spent my time studying the lines/shape of the car and the best vantage points to capture and enhance these attributes. In this case I had no specific application for the images (just fodder for the portfolio) but my subconscious is always at play as I shoot, so my general shot list grew a bit as I learned more about the graphical nature of this beautiful car. Also, I have a passion for prints and posters in general, so my graphic designer hat is always on and working in the back of my mind. As a result, concepts began to emerge….
Below are the two posters (digital versions) that I created from this afternoon of shooting. In real life, they are 24in T x 36in W and 36in W x 53in T – to be printed on a Canon Pro 4000 11 color printer.
To emphasize points that come up in most forums, – is it the gear, the craft, the idea or just dumb luck? While it is sometimes all of the above, it is first and foremost about the idea and how well it is staged and executed (and craft and gear help facilitate the staging/execution). But there is another important component that generally is completely overlooked and one that I often struggle with myself – ingenuity and imagination. Training your eye to truly help translate your imagination (using your craft skills) into an effective finished photograph is not a trick, but rather is built on experience and experimentation. The ingenuity part is how quickly you can visually problem solve when an obstacle arises to challenge (and possibly negate) your vision. Imagination is not easily acquired (it seems innate to me) but ingenuity can be improved and even learned (in my opinion).
Thanks for taking the time to look. Please don’t hesitate to leave a message. If you have questions, I will try to answer them. All images and content ©2019 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved. (Note: the posters are not for sale, but rather created to demonstrate style and capability and for my own personal use inside my studio.)