Smiling on the outside, but totally freaking out on the inside

Richard Charpentier Arizona, Arizona Photographer, Photography, RLC Design 3 Comments

This post’s title accurately depicts the start of today’s commercial shoot.  A 6:30 a.m. arrival, a freezing cold morning, and we were ready to go.  No problems, no worries, lots of confidence.  A slam dunk for day one, that’s what was in my head.  However, things always crop up and you’ve got to deal with them.

As we setup to shoot some MASSIVE concrete saws for today’s project several snags cropped up.  Snag 1?

The Savage stands that I use to mount the seamless white background.  One stand had a cracked tightening nut at the base.  That’s the part where you screw to keep the base in plate.  The crack was so bad that the nut literally fell out.  Given the fact I’ve only used the stand about a half dozen times since I bought it last summer I’m a little disappointed.

The cool was not lost, the client was unaware, and we worked it out.  Gaffers tape rocks!  The base was held in place by MOUNDS of tape.  Whew, snag one avoided.  Move on, get shooting.

The Alien Bees were setup on C-Stands and at the ready for a light test.  I popped the radio poppers several times……and the new Bee failed to trigger.  The new Bee arrived in studio a few weeks ago, and I did one test with it.  I had some problems at first getting it to fire, but it worked out.  It left me wondering though……..and today we found that the new Bee is a total fail.  Not complaining, I’ll contact Buff on Friday and I’m sure we can get it taken care of.

Unfortunately my lighting plan went out the window with one Bee not firing.  Still kept my cool, but in my head I was wondering, “What’s gonna fail next?  We haven’t shot a single frame.”

Fortunately I’m the guy who is alway ready for disaster.  3 more portable backups were with me, stands, etc.  No problem.  We shifted over to the 580EX II which worked like a champ all day.

The final snag wasn’t so much as snag as it was a reality of where we were working.  The assembly plant for the concrete saws.  More accurately, the assembly floor.  Think about it, manufacturing can be a messy business.  Now take a dirty floor, a giant concrete saw deal, and big wheels rolling across a seamless white setup.  Yeah, yucky!

Finally, the mechanisms were larger than expected.  That was the final freak out in my brain.  “How the #%$#% are we gonna fit those on that background?”  Incredibly enough we did it!  It took some interesting positioning and a little extra creativity in what I was doing, but it worked out completely.  The client reviewed a ton of images (we shot tethered) and the response was extremely positive.

So day one is in the books.  Day 2 is more about shooting the facility, components, process, etc.  We got all the product shots we needed, so there’s that.

Today’s tally?  1 busted Savage stand (still don’t even know how it broke), 1 non-functional brand new Bee, and a pretty nasty vinyl seamless white background (no longer white).  For these bumps and bruises?  A happy client and a ton of really great product shots!

Okay, now I’ve gotta start sorting all these pixels!

Comments 3

  1. Awesome Rich….All the shots are amazing….good to see your assistant getting in there and getting dirty…taking shots of metal anything can be so subtle…happy pixel hunting!

  2. Rich, you’re like an image I have of a duck: calm on the surface but paddling like hell underneath. Whatever, you’ve created art from a bunch of nuts and bolts. Cheers!

Leave a Reply