2 years ago
JonPatrickHyde
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Bentley Continental - R Shoot
An important aspect of shooting composite photos - images (or parts of) which will be combined with others to create a new complete image - is matching the light in all of the component images. A Director of Photography is often said to "paint with light" - because light is a vital component of photography - regardless if you are shooting a single frame or 24 frames per second. In this shoot for Bentley, the final images (still photos for online, dealer advertising, and print advertising), were to depict the car and it's occupants arriving at a red carpet event. Night photography on location with actors can be extremely expensive and difficult. Controlling light in any commercial product photo or video is a DP's main concern. The purpose of the final image/video is to present the product in it's best light - making it appealing to the product's target demographic. By removing the variables which can undermine control of the light, you can build a final image which best represents the client's goals in the presentation of their product(s). There is controversy at times regarding the use of images which present a certain reality which are manufactured - how do you feel about this? Do you think it makes sense for a product manufacturer to want to present their products in the best possible light? If so, do you think the use of composite images is acceptable?
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Composite imagery, as you know, is nothing new. It helps photographers control for variables that used to be uncontrollable. Just as an interior decorator needs to display things in the best possible way, or a graphic designer needs to pull from various resources to make the best possible graphic, a photographer may need to use multiple photographers to make things look perfect (or what the client thinks is perfect). Is it a somewhat unrealistic depiction, yes. Is it acceptable, I think so.
I came from a photo journalism background where altering a photo in any way, shape, or form is unethical. There's also a thing called "truth in advertising" where it's wrong to make unsubstantiated claims about what a product can do. do you feel that there is a line with manufactured images that shouldn't be crossed, for example showing an average person making a slam dunk against Professional players in a full arena during an NBA game to promote a new set of basketball shoes? Where does truth in advertising and the desire to present a product in an eye catching, memorable image sync - and where do they clash?
@JonPatrickHyde I do agree that there is a line that can be crossed where altered photographs in advertisements can be unethical, and of course photo journalism is an entirely different story. I think, at least in advertising photography, there is a clear line between making a shot look as good as possible and manipulating a photograph to the point where it becomes unrealistic. Using multiple shoots to make exposure inside of a car and outside of a car is perfectly reasonable, but manipulating an image of an average joe making a slam dunk crosses the line a bit. That's my personal opinion, but I see how the ethics of it all can vary from person to person.
@JonPatrickHyde I have a background in journalism as well, and I definitely see your point about the dissonance between the two approaches. I do think the context makes a big difference. That's why it's important in writing to have a clear demarcation between journalism and PR/Marketing. I believe the same can apply to artificiality in photography. I think there is a certain expectation and allowance for manipulation of images in marketing photography. I think the context, purpose and audience expectations are the primary issues.