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Life Before Photoshop: Asics Tennis Shoes.

Look ma, no Photoshop!!!

Look ma, no Photoshop!!!

For those out there that have been following these posts, I hope you’re enjoying them as much as I did when I was taking them…way back when Adobe was a type of house in the southwest part of the country.

It was never in question whether I could solve the clients problem or not. If I took on the project, then there could be only one ending…a happy one where everyone lived happily ever after. If there wasn’t a happy ending, you never worked for that advertising agency again. you became Persona non grata. If the art director went to another agency, and it happened all the time, your name went with him.

There wasn’t anything to help you in those days in the form pf post processing. Hell, in the early days there weren’t even computers….just me and my Kodachrome 25.

I teach an online class with the PPSOP, and I also conduct my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops around the planet. In both cases, my fellow photographers are not allowed to use any post processing. Everything they submit has to be right out of the camera. I want people to become better photographers, not better computer artists or digital technicians. don’t get me wrong. I’m not some old guy that can’t flow with the times; quite the contrary. I use CS5 to some degree  on just about every image I take..why not? Having said that, i like the challenge of getting it in one exposure, in the camera. To me, that’s what being a good shooter is all about.

The above photo was part of a advertising campaign for Asics Tennis Shoes. This ,particular shoe was worn by members of the Woman’s Olympic Volleyball team, and the client wanted a shot that was full of action while showing the shoe.

I created a way to make it look as if she was jumping for a ball by building a frame that could support her weight. To get it without the use of electronic flash just wasn’t going to work. We built a harness that had a large bungee cord attached to the top. We could pull her down, let go, and it would spring back with her with it. I used a shutter speed that was slow enough to record the ambient light in the gym, and a synch delay that would fire the large strobe in the soft box at the end of the exposure instead of the beginning. This is what creates the slight blur and feeling of motion. When we pulled her down and let go she sprang back up we would click the shutter at that moment.

Right before i started to shoot, we wafted some fog juice to add to the drama.

The production photo.

The production photo.

Since it was before digital, I could only get an idea of what I was getting by taking a Polaroid before the actual shot. After that I would bracket all over the reading my meter gave me. If it wasn’t right on the money, I had nothing to help make it right. Back then, it was just the way it was, and if you didn’t think you could pull it off, you just didn’t do it.

I never turned these kinds of assignments down. I loved the challenge of solving the problem, and never thought I couldn’t do it.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and watch for my 2015 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come enjoy Portugal, my next Springtime Workshop next May. I still have a couple of spaces left for my coordinated trip with Epic Photo Tours to Myanmar. A country full of rich photo opportunities, and offers a lifetime of memorably experiences. Come shoot with me sometime.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com and receive a video critique.



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