Panic makes perfect

Posted: August 18, 2011 in Shoots in short
Tags: , , ,

Story of my life. You get the call the night before – can you please do an editorial shoot tomorrow at nine, here are the contact details, this is what we want – loads of power, energy, make the people the heroes, and by the way, did we mention this is for a cover shot?

Yeah right.

There’s nothing quite like panic and unpreparedness to galvanise you into action. I hate it, of course, and bitch about every moment while struggling with adverse weather, non-perfect light, stands blowing over, people unceremoniously commandeered from work stations and supervisors not happy about the work delays …  But in the end, somehow you pull it off. Against all odds. And herein lies the problem – because the commissioning editor thinks you can do this all the time and keep calling at the very last minute.

Maybe you can. Maybe you do. It’s just dicey and it certainly does not add years to your life. My fear is that some day, it just won’t all come together. But then again, I suppose if it is impossible to get the shot, you’d still pull off the impossible. I try not to think about it, and will cross that bridge when I get to it.

This shoot involved Transnet workers on a railway. The brief was to make it gritty, dirty, tough. I chose a 200mm Nikon f2.8 lens for the job to compress the perspective and separate the person in the foreground from the back. The sun was camera right. I exposed for the highlights, then added a Quantum flash camera left to fill in the shadows, and added a Nikon Speedlight camera left and behind the subject to give a bit of wrap and edge to the right side of his face (camera left). That added a 3D feel, and again helped separate the background out. I added a bit of bleaching and tonal contrast to the image to accentuate the gritty details on the gloves and stones between the tracks. Shot at f6.3, 320th/sec on focal plane shutter.

This behind the scenes post is courtesy of Wordsource Productions.

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