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Wednesday, 28 November 2007

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Reminds me of Salvador Dali's portrait "Dali Atomicus" by Philippe Halsman, see http://www.luhring-design.com/information/essays/dali-atomicus/philippe-halsman.html

Enjoyed watching that Dave,

10% of your time taking pics and 90% "working"

While that seems like a fun shoot it really drives home the time spent NOT shooting.I wonder how that breaks down in terms of dollars and cents? Looks like a good long sit behind a computer as well......

Ah the glamorous life!

Great shoot Dave, Charlie back in the old days this would have been done with a 4X5 and film (lots of film), plus many days in the dark room and on to the air brush guy. You didn't sleep nights until the piece got printed.
Those were the days. Thankfully there gone. Digital rules and you can sleep at night.

Anybody else find this image a little bit disturbing? What about the ethical question [yeah, I know, this is advertising] of anchoring this image concept around graphic violence?

The Photoshop post production is pretty pedestrian, and is about the least interesting thing about this image.

I thought the photoshop PP was interesting. Kudos to the studio and photographers for giving us a glimpse of their production, I learned a lot. As for "graphic violence", thats a joke right... do you not own a TV or something?

Uuh... so what's the message?

I sure hope the graphic violence thing is a joke, and as far as the photoshop production, the technique doesn't really seem to be the point—and regarding the "pedestrian" comment, that's way off topic, and kinda rude. (Does everything have to be groundbreaking to be artistically viable? Are you doing some thing so creative that it justifies calling someone's technique, a perfectly acceptable and practical one at that, "pedestrian?")

It seems pretty obvious that though the original point of this video may have been to display the technique, or more simply, how a modern photographic shoot using digital technology might occur, that is not its point here. If you look at the title of this post, it relates to an ongoing string of posts on this blog that discuss the difficulty and the amount of work that goes into being a professional photographer. The video clearly shows that it took a lot of effort and coordination between many individuals just to get one shot completed. Now, the other treads on this topic generally discussed the other parts of being a professional photographer that many don't think about when dreaming of this career—salesmanship, etc. Though I don't feel that what was shown in this video is necessarily something only a professional photographer would do (some folks have a lot of time on their hands) unlike like the more tedious aspects of being a pro photographer, I think that the point of this is pretty clear, and it is the same point the other threads on this topic made: It takes a lot of work—not just fun and games—to be a pro.

>>>>So You Say You Want To Turn Pro...

Nope, never said it, never will. This looks like a bunch of really boring stuff to do. Nothing at all like the kind of photography I like to do, nor the reason I like to make photographs. It's like relating a wedding photographer to a documentary street or landscape photographer. They have little overlap in how it's done except for that fraction of a second when a shutter is pushed on a camera.

A few of my thoughts in no particular order.

- David's remarks are worth re-reading for anyone attracted to commercial (ad) photography by this video micro-doc. Every business has its dirty side but commercial photography has more than its portion.

- It struck me that Jeff Wall and Jeffrey Crewdson do the same kinds of productions for their art photography. (Crewdson does enormous Hollywood-scale productions for a single shot.) But their work (a) doesn't have the shelf-life of bread (borrowing from one of David's comments), (b) is -their- work, and (c) probably offers much greater, and longer-term, financial compensation than this work.

- Anything can be made to look fun with a skillfully edited, cheerfully (or movingly) scored film, eh? The Army has known that for a very long time.

Responding to Mark...my graphic violence comment was a question, which you and yunfat have each answered in similar fashion. Many people under the age of 40 accept the violence we experience around us (in music, ads, movies, news coverage, etc.) as status quo. Granting that, many people have nothing to compare that status quo with.

Violence was less a coin-of-the-realm, bankable commodity a few decades ago, at least in the USA. If it is a "joke" to question the need for promoting more violence in advertising today, that notion itself is worth exploring.

How would you have responded if the ad had been based upon a visual concept of flag-draped coffins? That could be attention-getting, too. Especially in a time when journalists are discouraged from recording such images. We have an abundance of both flag-draped coffins and images of violence today. Should there be any consideration of high road vs. low road in ads? Or is it right and proper to use any angle to get our attention? Is it ridiculous to even discuss such things?

Regarding paintballs, as shown in the video, they are incredibly potent, even at a distance. The golfball-sized welt shown on the model's back attests to that. Being shot in the head or through the eye socket at close range might be fashionably extreme, but would not be cool. It would likely be lethal. How cool is that, literally?

I was worried about my use of the word "pedestrian" after-the-fact. My mistake. I did not mean to imply that the post-processing work was not high quality. It is solid, without a doubt, and I know something about this. (Don't tell anybody, but digital retouching, color-correction and repurposing is my day job. My artist rep is trash if word gets out!)

Better to have said this: digital retouchers all over the planet do this every day, at-or-near this level of expertise. It is what is expected in the [competitive] marketplace. And Brouton Stroube did good work on this one. Not ground-breaking work.

The image is simply more interesting to me because of the issue of casual use of violence than it is as an example of process and post process in ad making.

"How would you have responded if the ad had been based upon a visual concept of flag-draped coffins? That could be attention-getting, too. Especially in a time when journalists are discouraged from recording such images. We have an abundance of both flag-draped coffins and images of violence today. Should there be any consideration of high road vs. low road in ads? Or is it right and proper to use any angle to get our attention? Is it ridiculous to even discuss such things?"

Stephen's remarks suggest an excellent topic for a broader discussion outside of this particular topic.

Arggh ... can't resist ... must butt in ...

I've been watching this one for a couple of days, thinking that my feelings about the image are a bit off-topic and should probably be kept to myself, but the heck with it.

Understanding that the point of the presentation is to illustrate the amount of work that goes into a shoot of this type ... (been in the advertising industry too long myself and, heck, even a simple static product shoot can be a huge undertaking) ... but the image itself really made an impression. Although I wouldn't go as far as to say "graphic violence," the image does fall in with what seems to be a trend towards more action, more intensity, more effects, wilder, bigger ... more more more ... which at some point starts to get a little old. I call it the "Jurassic Park Effect". It's cool once, but the sequel just doesn't quite make it. I'd hate to think that young aspiring creators are being led to believe that the only way to succeed is to go to ever increasing extremes.

Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I can really appreciate a well thought out, well composed, well lit image even if it doesn't include over-the-top action and digital manipulation.

Cheers,

The Old Fuddy-Duddy

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