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Life Before Photoshop: Budweiser

The finished product.

The finished product.

Looking back through all my post in this category, brings to mind all the years I spent without the help of Lightroom and Photoshop. I’m closing in on fifty years of shooting advertising and corporate photography, and I would say that three-quarters of those years were spent without their help. These years were during the period of time when computers were not invented, in their infancy stage, and later on when Adobe was a type of house in the Southwest part of the country.

I was recently talking to a woman that had taken both my online class with the BPSOP, and several of my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet. One of the things she said was, “I can’t imagine shooting and not seeing what you’ve captured while it is being developed.  That in itself, has to make one think very carefully before clicking the shutter. ”

She’s right, but it was a lot scarier than that!!!

Imagine a large production shot that included an out of town location, people, interior lighting you had to make believable, and important props that helped tell the story. Now imagine getting everything in the frame to be withing one stop of one another; from the front to the back, and from one side to the other…that’s not counting the exposure on the faces of the subjects. All this on one 35mm Kodachrome transparency.

Now, imagine not being able to see your finished photo until you got back home, sent the film to the lab, then waited nervously until you saw the first three to four frame clips. I only knew it would be close ahead of time based on the countless meter readings I took with my Minolta One-degree Spot Meter and bracketing in one third intervals. Had it not been for this meter, I would have never been as successful as I was…plain and simple.

In the photo of the boxer, Budweiser sent me a layout depicting a young Hispanic man posing with his trainer and manager, to be taken in the gym they worked out in. These were not to be models, but the real deal. I sent a location scout to San Antonio to check out his gym to see if it fit all the requirements. In other words, if it looked real. Needless to say I was exited when I saw the photos and quickly set up a date to take their portraits.

Knowing from the photos that the room was going to be too dark to really work with, I took virtually all the lighting I had in my studio; I wound up using everything I took.

Here’s the finished production photo with a video of how I achieved it with out the help of any post processing. Everything was created in the camera on one piece of film.


Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out the workshops I offer at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

Keep those photos and questions coming to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique of your photo.


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