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photonews 28.6.2013

Today in 1838 Queen Victoria Crowned in Westminster.

59 days until August Bank Holiday


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The Archive
Keyhole Forceps


Photographic Assignments has had a long relationship with Verco and for many years we have worked together to produce interesting images.
In the past we have photographed furniture on the beach, in the middle of Docklands, and even in the grounds of Alexandra Palace (in the rain).
When things got really big we have shot furniture in huge car studios, dangled from very high overhead gantries but not underwater. Well not yet anyway.
The series above comes from their DNA range and was photographed in their factory and at Eastside hire studios, which unfortunately no longer exists.
The main image depicts their new modular desk system with various pedestal units and screens.
The image has been heavily retouched, the room has had the saturation removed and cleaned up, the windows, emphasised and the desk systems given some contrast to give it a bit of punch.
The photo sessions are a true leveller as everyone mucks in, from the delivery guys right up to the senior management. It's not uncommon to see the Marketing Director under a desk with an allen key in hand, helping to install the desk tops ensuring the job runs smoothly.
We look forward to our next brief and are curious to find out where we will end up.

This Month
spin and zoom coin

Pocket door concept

Have you ever thought about space saving?
Commodore kitchens have.
In fact Commodore have been designing, building and installing kitchens for more than 40 years, this is a little confusing as the founder of the company must have started when he was still at nursery school, he doesn't really look old enough. Fortunately for us they need their new designs and concepts regularly photographed, as you can imagine the range of colour and shiny reflective surfaces always makes for a real challenge.
Normally on a job for Commodore there will be a couple of lights and literally hundreds of poly boards, filling in and reflecting the light to achieve a lovely subtle natural feel, hiding all the unwanted reflections. Sometimes with so many boards, stands and lights it gets so crowded that you can hardly get to the camera.
The shot above shows a new pocket door concept, of which you can see a high-res version here.
The doors allow you to shut away your unwashed dishes until such a time as the hired help arrives to give your top floor apartment a once over. It also adds to the clean modern minimalist look.
Every time we visit they have developed a new futuristic system from sockets that gently pop up from your work surface to remote controlled electric kitchen doors.
All this make my kitchens "soft close" drawers seem very last century.



Scanning film

Can you have a look at an image for me? This kind of request isn't so unusual, but as with all my stories, there's a twist. The scan was from a very old 35mm transparency circa 1960's and wasn't of the highest quality, and to make matters worse the final image of the subject would need to be printed as a "life size" cut out.
The best route was to start from the beginning and to scan the transparency ourselves, when the film arrived it did look very sorry for itself in fact it was shocking. It had faded, turned purple and was beginning to go mouldy around the edges.
The great thing about having a 5x4 technical camera is it can be turned to many uses and copying transparencies onto our digital back is just one of its many tricks. The Capture One software we use has presets that allow us to extract every grain of detail and every hue of colour from the original.
This allowed us to correct most of the colour deficiency and produce a scan so sharp that every grain was visible showing its crystal structure. Now we have our man, we needed to remove him from his companions and the background. This was a fairly simple task but then we were asked, Can he be holding a briefcase?
My answer to this was, "Well these days you can do anything."
So the client supplied an appropriate case and we went to work with Phil supplying the appropriate hands!

Dr Mark
Professor Mark

iPhone crazy

The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire 28 person photography staff, including the Pulitzer prize winner John White.
The remaining editorial staff have begun mandatory training on "iPhone Photography Basics". The management have said "in the coming days and weeks we'll be working with all editorial employees to train and outfit them to produce the content needed."
This has turned the world of photojournalism upside down. One leading photographer, Alex Garcia has said "An iPhone is just an iPhone, It doesn't have a telephoto lens to see past police lines or across a field, ballroom or four lane highway. It doesn't have a lot of manual controls to deal with countless situations the automatic exposure will fail to capture." ,
The reason why photojournalists use the best equipment is because we use it!!"
"Our gear is put through demands that stretch camera technology to its limits."
I feel the management have missed something here. They are selling their photography staff short.
Its not just the kit, staff have years of experience. I could produce a better image on an iPhone than you could, because I'm always looking for an angle and observing the effects of the light. So by removing the experience and technology the results will really suffer.

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