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Life Before Photoshop: Buick

Look ma, no Photoshop

Back when I was traveling and shooting two hundred and twenty-five days out of the year I had three reps (representatives); one in Chicago, one in New York, and one in LA. Most of my advertising jobs came from Chicago and New York, and the majority of my corporate work (annual reports and brochures) came from Houston (where I was living and still live) and Dallas.

The biggest chunk of automotive assignments came from my rep in Los Angeles, since that’s where most of the advertising agencies that handled car accounts were based.

I loved shooting cars and had a very good reputation for always coming back with “the goods”. These were my favorite assignments since they were usually several days of shooting and several days of pre-production and travel; it didn’t hurt that they were extremely lucrative, but that’s not where my mind was at.

As I’ve said in prior posts, the best examples I have of shooting before any form of post processing was developed is in automotive photography. This was the most difficult genre to shoot since the cars had to be lit perfect and all movement was achieved in the camera. So different than in today’s world where you can have the car sitting still against a background and make it look like it’s moving through the use of Photoshop. The majority of the time the car is photographed on a green screen and then stripped into  some landscape; which seldom looks right.

I was extended over the guardrail while we were moving and shooting.

One of the things I ask my online students with the BPSOP and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet is to refrain from using any post processing, and to crop only in the camera. I read once that when you crop in front of a computer it’s a sign of sloppy technique and a lack of discipline; I agree.

I want my fellow photographers to take the challenge and do whatever they need to do before clicking the shutter. It will make for a much stronger photographer, and not a more skilled computer artist.

The wet-down with a water truck.

In the photo above, We shot at sunrise and I was sitting/positioned in a crane extending out from a camera car because the Art Director wanted to see the guardrails on both sides of the Buick. both the camera car and the Buick were traveling at the same speed so I could make the car look like it was moving. Right before the start of the shoot, I sent in a water truck to do what was called a wet down. The tricky part was to blur the skyline and have it be out of focus so that the Buick was the main focal point; to add to the effect I used a diffusion filter.

That’s the days when it was fun to be a good photographer and not a proficient computer artist.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. On July 30th I begin my 29th year at the Maine Media Workshops. I’ve had the same week since the beginning. It’s the week of the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland. It offers a completely different set of photo ops than one would expect when coming to photograph the coastline, lighthouses, and fishing villages of Maine. Come join me and spend a week completely immersed in your love for photography.

Send a photo and question to: AskjoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.


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