Thursday, February 4, 2010

To photograph a process and what you may find behind it.

I was in St. Louis this Wednesday and Thursday.
How much I learned. Paper is not something to take for granted (not that I do so) but, you never understand what is really behind a simple piece of paper. How many people work on it, how many machines are constantly functioning and how much it costs. So, besides learning how the process works, I also learned how to produce a photo shoot when you are documenting a process.

My task was to conduct Diego as the photographer throughout the process and let him know what the client wanted. Although we had a list of shots that the client specifically wanted, I had to consider that there were not only exterior and interior shots and horizontal and vertical. In fact, I had to combine them.

In spite of the bad weather, we had to shoot so, I decided to separate the list into two: exterior and interior. Exterior were postponed hoping for a better weather on Thursday. Focused on interior then, I directed Diego through a list of things to-do.

What I learned on Wednesday:

** Safety first. Care for yourself and care for the ones in your team. Be sure that the things to be photographed are controlled and watched by the safety guard.

**Some steps in the process are more impressive than others, they will use heavier machinery, however, try to narrate a story with your photograph. Be sure to have them listed and be checking them after you're done. However, you may ask for two different angles on the same site, so, list that too. Close-ups and Panoramic views are important shots to be listed too.

** I noticed that is not only important to talk to the person in charge at the fabric, but to the employees also. The ones who operate the machinery know what the machines do and they know what will be more interesting to you. Trust them, they know. They know more than you will.

** Look for a spot where the equipment will be safe. The place must be a not very transited spot.

The photo below is from Wednesday. FYI: JFF.

What I learned on Thursday:

** As my father always said, if you are up early, you take advantage of time. In Spanish "Al que madruga Dios le ayuda".

** Wear rainboots, have them packed. They come in handy.

**You can never trust the weather. So, be prepared. This Wednesday we took more photographs than we were supposed to. Luckily it turned out better, it was impossible to have them on Thursday. In conclusion: If you have time, spend it wisely and step on it. Pull off some more stuff than what you have planned, it may work.


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