Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Motion of Fashion

The fashion image is often the result of a solution to many obstacles.  As we often do in industrial design, if we can't hide it, then we feature it.  
I shot this image for a Halloween promotion, and I have three international models to shot, and of course the costume, hair and make-up to match. Problems, one female model was 3-4 inches less than the other female model, and much less than the male model; so in order to compose a balanced picture, one has to wear high heel while the other two with bare feet. The costume is also rather weak to portrait the desired Halloween look, so I have to divert the attention of the costume and to reduce its final visual impact, especially the cloak. 
The result, as presented in the final image, is to have the shortest model to bring motion into the picture, and the motion, was the weakest costume, which in any case, won't be seen much if wore by the male model.  I shot a small sequence of 6-7 images with the shortest model flipping the cloak to capture the cloak in the right position of the image so I can put a cooperate logo of the company who hired me for the work, as well as to hide the high heel she was wearing.
Motion in a still picture is a frequent used option, just as motion pictures often use slow motion to try to present the sense of freezing the moment, in order to bring the audience to a mode that they can have enough time to share the same emotion of objects in the picture.  As the case with the final image, a slower shutter speed was use to give a bit of blur effect to the cloak, while try to maintain the models in good sharpness.  Very little Photoshop was applied; at most, it was the blood.  Camera in use was Phase One P45+ fitted on Contax 645, with Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 45-90mm.
The final image is far from what was planed.  
Today's commercial work, quite sadly, has in large part neglected or simply don't understand the photographer's role as the creative master.  In stead, many so called creative people or directors try to involve in the process, few made positive contributions, more made it worse, some are simply useless, and all of them at the same time try to tell photographer what to do??  Photography to me is about the man and the subject, with the camera or other media the tool to capture what is in the mind of the photographer. Of course, as the case of fashion photography, the model plays an important role, as thru the expressions and postures, he or she help deliver more depth and dimension to the final image. 
The image was in such a hurry, it gives little time to prepare anything. No time to cast the model, not enough time to get the appropriate costume, and the final image needs to deliver few hours after the production.  Is there luck?  Hardly any.  It is the result of a photographer to use his or her imagination, communicate to the model, fix the problem at the spot, and finish the picture in minutes.  Is this the best result possible?  Certainly not!  There are countless talented photographers can come in, solve the problems in each own way and create the final image in different perspective and execution, and probably all equally good or better.  
What do I try to explain, quite simply, the term photography and photographer came from the same root and they cannot be separate. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Spring Chair

This is one of my favorite designs.  I did it 2 years ago as a part of series design using similar concept.  The chair made use of SUS304 stainless steel, a material known to be resilience, strong and rigid, but perhaps I also made the chair looks warm and soft.  And in deed it works very well. The chair using single 1.2mm thick steel sheet and partly welded together to result of chair very strong, yet flexible enough for one to sit in and feel very comfortable. 
I took this picture myself earlier this year for a advertising campaign for our clients and collectors, using a Phase One P45+ back fitted on Contax 645.  In order to portrait the chair and the lovely and perfectly proportioned Lithuanian model, Margarita, in perfect harmony, I choose to shoot the picture in silhouette, with strong backlit, to give the overall picture a soft yet pronounced presentation.  And of course, Margarita did her job well!  Also to be reviewed via SOTA BITI


An image took in SoHo, New York, while walking across the street, this image stop me. I pause (not a wise thing to do while across the street) and took this image with a Contax TV-S compact digital camera.  What intrigued me was the lines on the building kind of merging with the trees, and the traffic sign pole, the color, and I said to myself, what a picture. I really did not take the picture, I just record it.
As a photographer, or just as any traveller in his journey of life, everything before the eyes is a picture.  It can be quite surprising to see how blessed we are as human being, with the technology capable of recording moment in life into a timeless image and able to share with other billions.  
The original image was captured in JPEG with a compact, 4 million pixels digital Contax TV-S camera, blown up to a 24" image when I have the exhibition in National Gallery, still with pleasing quality. As most true photographers often say, it is abut the quality of vision, not the number of pixels and its resolution.  It is a waste not to shoot picture often than to invest too much into tools that does not produce images.

Why this blog?

I hope by hosting this blog will give a better detail and perspective of the designs and images I create in daily life. I did not originally study design, nor photography, but you don't need teacher for that, you just need passion and persistence, just like any relationship.  There are insightful materials I wish to share with those having common interest on something I did, or they did.
Creation is not a job, it is an experience and a journey, and with luck someone can get paid by doing it.  I am among the lucky ones.  
With this blog, I will share with you the technical aspect of the designs and photographs I did, and the creation path of them.