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Life Before Photoshop: Mazda Shoot

Look ma, no Photoshop!

Look ma, no Photoshop!

In the continuation of my series I call “Life Before Photoshop“, I present to you a tw0-page center spread taken for the Mazda car account.

In my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet, the majority of my students began shooting in the digital era. Along with digital cameras came post processing, and for some weird reason, new-age photographers think that they go together; as in you can’t have one without the other.

Don’t get me wrong, I use Cs5 all the time but sparingly. The challenge for me (since I’m old and a product of the film era) is to create as much in the camera as I can. I love to see something in my imagination and be able to create it without any help. So many students of mine absolutely panic at the thought of not using post processing, and I only have to show them my film work to convince them that they too can create good photos all by themselves.

In the above photo, the Art Director wanted me to find a gas station close to the side of the road in the desert. As usual in those days Art Director’s had no idea what they were asking for, and most of the time what they wanted couldn’t be done; no matter how big the budget was.

After a location scout looking for a week came up empty-handed…there aren’t any gas stations next to the road in the desert because there weren’t any gas stations at all.  I ask the Art Director if I could have one built there in Hollywood, dismantled and put back together in the Mojave Desert which was fairly close. He went back to the client and explained that we could either keep spending $750.00 a day on a location scout or we could have complete control and build one. The client agreed on the price and we set off to shoot the ad…without the help of post processing!

If we were to shoot this ad now, the car would have been shot in a studio and the gas station would have been a very small model. Together with the help of CGI (computer generated imagery), they would have had a digital artist put the two together.

How much fun would that be????? BORING!!!

Here’s a couple of production photos showing the set up.

I had the gas station built after I took readings with my Sunpath software and used my Morin 2000 hand bearing compass to find where the sun would set on the horizon. I wanted to get a glow on the side of the car by placing it with the grill facing the last moments of sunset.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com., and check out my 2012 workshop schedule. Come shoot with me sometime.


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