Thursday, May 15, 2008

This Bud's For You!

One of my clients, a snow removal and landscaping company, wanted to update their capabilities brochure and website to show potential clients that they were equipped to service large accounts like corporate parks, malls and bank branches.

The first shot was of the two owners and all nineteen employees positioned around a small Kubota snowplow. In the back we had positioned several front-end loaders and large trucks mounted with plows. In the far background was a giant canopy covering a mountain of salt. I used two Dyna-lite 2000 packs with two bare heads each, to light the group. A Honda generator powered each pack.

The next shot was of a line of eight white pickup trucks mounted with red snow plows. I shot them from above while standing in a cage, chained to a forklift. I used a zoom lens to compress the line of trucks. By not showing the beginning or the end of the line it appeared as if the line of trucks continued on forever.

The third shot (shown above) is my favorite. The Yellow cylindrical tanks are used to store liquid deicer. The deicer is a byproduct of beer brewing and is sourced from the local Budweiser plant.

There were three tanks on the left side and two tanks on the right. The view down the middle of the tanks was not very photogenic. There were old plows, a leafless tree and a cyclone fence all bathed in harsh afternoon light. By moving the camera to the right I blocked the unsightly background with the edge of the foreground tank. As with the line of trucks, if you could not see the edge of the last tank, the viewer might imagine there were more tanks than there actually where.

The tank on the right was being hit by a shaft of bright sunlight and would have distracted the viewer from what I wanted to be the center of interest, the worker. I had a high lift brought over and the bucket was raised. A tarp was hung from the bucket to block the sunlight.

To enhance the asphalt we wet it down with ten gallons of water, as if it had just rained. All of the light in the scene was coming from above and not all that interesting. I set up a Lumedyne battery pack with one bare head to the right and slightly behind the subject to simulate sunlight coming in from the side. Pocket Wizards fired the flash. The light struck the side of the models face. The yellow tank acted as a reflector and filled the shadow side nicely. The restricted area of coverage by the flash helped to draw attention to the subject, who was relatively small in the frame. Underexposing the ambient by 1 and 1/2 stops heightened the affect.