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Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Friday, September 26, 2014

BTS - Carpet shoot timelapse

I have been doing a bit of work recently for an advertising company in Durban that have a carpet manufacturer as one of their clients. Usually the work is fairly ho-hum...glorified photocopier work essentially. You need to be able to understand colour and workflow so that you get accurate reproduction of colour. Basically you don't want to have a client look at the brochure and think that there is zero similarity between the product and the picture.

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Okay, fairly basic if technical stuff. However, it got a little more interesting when I was asked to photograph a full size floor so that the resultant image could be dropped into stock images of likely rooms that the carpets would ultimately be used in. Yes, I know shooting a room set would be better, but the reality is that budgets are tight and stock is the way that many companies go. But, stock doesn't give you the actual product.

Our goal was to light the carpet floor as uniformly as possible so that the retouchers would be able to add shadow detail to the composite image at a later stage. Using blowups of the stock images that were going to be used I was able to guesstimate the approximate camera location in order to photograph the floor so that it would match as seamlessly as possible with the stock room images. To this end I used 3 Broncolors with standard reflectors aimed at the white ceiling. Creating the bounce light gave a nice large wash of light. Careful positioning of these lights, augmented by some small Nikon strobes also bounced off the ceiling allowed us to get a near as dammit uniform lighting on the carpet.

The timelapse result is quite comical as we laid, relaid and packed the various carpet tiles through the course of the morning. Not exactly Ben von Wong stuff, but it was challenging and interesting in it's own way.
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