The end of March for me at Alternative Images was a busy time with a photographic consignment from a company called MC Electronics who design and manufacture a complete range of works signage for the railway services industry and distribute all over the world.
Their main distribution unit is located in Bracknell where my client and I decided to set up and hold the studio shoot. The product design is one that has built in reflection aids so can be seen in various light situations. Being a warning sign this is a requirement that is paramount. To save time on the day of the shoot I decided to run test shots beforehand of some items to accomplish the best treatment to photograph the product range.
The client spent some time in organising the items and created a check list that we could work to. We were aiming to shoot in the region of sixty items during the day and I had asked this to be done so we kept sizes and types of product grouped together so we did not have to change the set up to often.
The day arrived and we travelled to the works unit. In an hour I had unloaded on site and shortly had the studio lighting all set up. This was kept quite simple with a large diffuser soft box that was on a boom arm positioned over the white backdrop that swept along the floor. The background wanted to be bleached out white so two back lamps were used and the front lighting was mainly reflected via using white card pieces positioned at each shot.
I was please with my decision to do test shots because this gave me a good start from the off and in no time at all was flying down the list of item to photograph. By late afternoon and even stopping for a quick refreshment lunch I had accomplished the shoot in one session that we thought may overrun into the next day. All down to planning.
All the images then had to go through the “post pro” procedure that was done the following day. The images are to be used online, a new catalogue for the company and the future Railtex exhibition stand at the Birmingham NEC in May.
The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work for Awards 2017
Photographs from the Awards held on the 22nd and 23rd February 2017
Images from the awards are available to view and purchase in various file formats for website, internal company or press publication by quotation only by clicking link below:
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Alternative Images is an established photographic company that delivers images of the highest quality to their clients. Video production is an area that the company also has a wide knowledge base and makes video content for company conferences, marketing and training projects. In the portfolio the vision is to address the need for website video production to engage with the audience of large or smaller companies to deliver a message in a short direct piece.
The use of designed graphics always enhances a video production. These can be kept simple or made quite complex but again this is determined for the client in how much is needed for the application. Graphics can be made just to change the scene or break away from the footage or be designed to explain or show a certain procedure within the video content. Enjoy!
Group shots are one area of photography I am asked to do several times a year. These can range from forty people to possibly one hundred and twenty in a single shot. I have a technical process to produce group shots that make them stand out from the rest, where no one has blinked, all hopefully smiling and the surrounding area telling the story. How I hear you say!
A few years back when shooting on film you would take various images and then choose the best one to perhaps print from. This was the only way it could be done and was very hit or miss. It is virtually impossible in a large group not to have someone blinking, looking in the wrong direction, talking to each other and not paying attention and yes hiding! Even when they are asked to “Look this way”.
With the aid of digital photography virtually anything is possible. It is a big cheat but can get you out, not of “trouble” but a real life situation that is not avoidable in these situations. This technique I use brings back what the eye sees that a camera has difficulty with.
What I stride to do is obtain the best image in the first place, but have the ability to correct slight inperfections at a later stage to suite!
Usually when I do these it is in a conference type situation so a large group would need to be positioned in front of and on the stage set. This is the only space you have to do this right?
Before the people arrive I would take a shot of the set to grab the image that is on screen. Why, because when using electronic flash this will be bleached out and not captured in the actually group shot. This gives you the logo or name of conference to add later. Then when the group arrive they are positioned best one can and in the time frame you have. Usually this is done within five minutes because people will start to become board and fidgety and you will loose there concentration and co-operation.
Capture main Group Images:
Next is to shoot say five to six frames of the group all in the same place. This then gives you in post pro the chance to choose the master image and from that you can use any of the other images to replace expressions or blinking eyes that may be apparent in the master you want to use.
Post Pro Retouch:
Here you have to use image processing/retouching programs and I’ll warn you it is not for the faint hearted. The process to set logos behind people on screens and doing the changes with flawless accuracy does take a very competent retoucher. And I’ll admit sometimes can catch me out, so I call upon expert help from one of my team.
So you achieve a conference set with logos on, all people looking and smiling in the right direction, without blinking eyes. Usually I obtain a 99.9% hit rate using this method and am often re booked by clients due to the quality of my work.