Fencing Gehry 2012
For this Genlux issue I composited an Olympic Silver Medalist Tim Morehouse (shot in NYC) with the silver medalist "Top Model" Natalie Gal (shot in LA) and a "fantasy-metal dune" background created from the Ghery Disney Center.
Shoot one: New York
So the trick in this production was to recreate outdoor light, and match it for two different subjects, studios, lights, and positioning. It sounds harder then it really is in execution. The first step was to shoot subject one in New York. I had done a text with Natalie (see "daylight" studio light) and was confident I could replicate the sun accurately. I had a rough story board in my head of how to get not just wide shots but a few medium shots as well. I had tim do his "thing" always reminding him he was 'fencing" another person. He gave me suggestions of how certain positions would correspond with the opponent fencer. One phase one of the shoot was finished, I edited the most "dynamic" images and sent them in a web proof to Stephen Kamifuji at Genlux for his input. Once we had our rough "selects. I could rough out the editorial story.
Shoot two: Los Angeles
Shooting a Smash Box Culver City, I fly Natalie in form Texas were she is just wrapping a shoot. She comes directly to the shoot from the airport and we begin. Stephen from Genlux and our team: Patrick Tumey from CelestineAgency.com, Dale Johnson with gluemgnt.com, Beth Fricke with Artist by Timothy Priano and Stylist Stephanie Ko have prepped our looks for the day and we just need to do our fitting and get our model into her first hair and makeup look. Tim Morrison had given me a couple fencing schools in LA to ask if we could get "props" for sabers and mask. Fortunately for us being a famous world class fencer has its benefits, and both schools provided us with the equipment. After the team sees the order of the outfits and the shots for the day we break down the shoot order. This is determined by what works best with the "build up" of the makeup and hair looks. While the "glam team" is doing their thing, my team is busy working on the lighting and testing the setup. I have looked at the "movability" of each outfit and have roughed out in my head which outfit is going to best accompany Tim's pose. I pull up on the computer all of Tim's shots and discuss the story with Stephen. Now that I have the shot order and the "movability" worked out, I put two Tim "options" per look on the computer. I analyze the lighting that is on tim and calculate the how the equivalent would look on his fencing counterpart. I have my assistants set up the lights and we test them on one of the female magazine interns. Once I know it all matches, I am ready for the model. Typically I finish my set up before the Hair and Makeup and spend some time talking to the team and making sure thy are understanding the "fantasy fiction" we are about to create and that they are inspired and on track to create something appropriate. As the glam team starts to get closer and closer to their cut off time I begin a series of warnings and alerts to the schedule. Once on set I show the model the the pose of Tim and even have one of the male assistants act as a "stand in" for reference. This above process of lighting adjustments and outfit changes occurs 8 more times. I shoot Natalie in two options per look and make sure I am covered for single page and double page options. Phase two is "in the chip".
Phase three: Disney Center
The concept was always to make a "fantasy" story. I had shot the dunes in death valley many years ago an always loved the way light wraps itself around the sand in the morning and at twilight. I have always been a fan of architect Frank Gehry . I have shot his buildings many times, in many cities over the years. I had given my self a "skills" assignment to shoot The Disney Center with only an 80mm. This assignment requires me to "find" the shot with only one lens. In this process I force my self out of my default or instictive "compositions". As it turns out I was happy to find some really interesting shots. They reminded me of my dune images shot in death valley. I knew that they would make a very interesting background texture for my fencing story.
This is one of the big advantages of digital post. There is no limitation to what you conceptualize. Editorial Photography stubbornly stays within the realm of it's analog predecessor; however I am fascinated with the unlimited potential to expand our story telling in the fashion genera. This story created for Genlux Magazine in 2010 is one example of increased production value with no cost to the budget. The subjects were shot in two different cities, location shot on a totally different day. All elements were composited to make a fantasy shoot that goes beyond the limitations of the "traditional" location shoot. The end result is a different approach utilizing the potential of the new medium for a consumer generation who will only know the digital esthetic.