Smoke and mirrors – sometimes literally. In the modern era of Photoshop, a lot of the old-school photo techniques have been replaced by plain digital art. Or what masquerades for art, sometimes.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the world of high-reflectives. In this case, a number of very heavy chrome taps that arrived at the studio. Make ’em look good. OK. But how do you get them to stand up while we do it?

This shoot called for some nifty tricks. Usually I would suspend the items with very thin fishing line, and remove any signs of this later. But these babies were heavy, lopsided and decidely unfriendly to work with. They kept falling over, no amount of sticking down with Prestik. It called for drastic measures – Photoshop.

… and after

This mixer, for instance, had a mind of its own. So out came various props, boxes and more Prestik, and it became a bit of a balancing act. As soon as it looked like my contraption was going to stay upright, I fired the trigger – and seconds later it would all come crashing down. Deep breath, go make coffee, stay calm …

Before …

And so it went, all day. No wonder no photographer wants to shoot these!

Still, chrome is the most beautiful surface to shoot. Love it. I used big polystyrene boards to light the faces of the mixers, and in Photoshop removed all props and signs of my cheating.

It makes one wonder – how did they do it in the old days, when they produced brilliant pictures and had to do so with film, Polaroids and no Photoshop? A lost art?

… and after

Before …

  1. Roxanne says:

    Perhaps the word photographer should be expunged from the dictionary. After all, magician covers it!

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