Wild Cad by Rob Anderson Squarespace

THE BRIEF:

To supply photographs of the award winning “Wildcad” in Sydney for a cover shot and a six page story in PPG Paints “Refinisher” magazine, distributed to over 5000 panel shops throughout Australia.

THE CHALLENGES

The vehicle could only be photographed in the car park of an industrial estate in western Sydney. Mario Condillilio’s workshop had no space available he was not leeting the vehicle leave the premises. The budget did not allow for the hire of a studio in any case.

THE SOLUTION

The custom 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville’s amazing appearance is due to the five different colours of unique PPG Vibrance Range Fadeaway paint in a job that Mario estimates costs AU$200,000 alone. It won the award of Top Custom Car in Australia at the recent MotorEx show in Sydney.

Fine particles of aluminium are embedded in the paintwork which only shows up in direct light sources - either full sun, tungsten spotlights of direct flash. My strategy? I packed my five trusty Nikon SB800 Speed Lights, a new Nikon SB900 and Nikon D3x camera.

After various interior shots lit through scrims in full sun, towards dusk we set up flash units on the concrete down the side of the vehicle, plus one held at waist level at the front/rear of the vehicle. The direct flash makes the metallic paint pop and when strategically positioned hot spots can be minimised.

THE OUTCOME

The story ran in PPG Paint’s “Refinisher” magazine, being one of the most popular stories they had ever published. We have now worked up Dean Parrott at Kisschasey (the advertising agency) for nearly 10 years, including numerous shoots for PPG over that time.

Watershed Union by Rob Anderson Squarespace

CASE STUDY: WATERSHED UNION

THE BRIEF:

Bruce Grant was establishing a new business specialising in Vintage Industrial furniture, “Watershed Union”. He required a wide range of photographs to wow visitors to his web site in a cut throat retail environment.

Bruce wanted a rustic feel to the images, to capture the traditional crafting and patina of each unique piece, set within a homely environment.

THE CHALLENGES

The location chosen was Bruce’s luxury home in Camberwell to shoots dozens of products over one day. We needed to move existing furniture & move in some incredibly heavy dining tables and couches. Some of the pieces such as stools were highly reflective chrome and required carefully crafted lighting.

THE SOLUTION

Bruce booked a bulked up young gym junkie to help move the furniture - that saved our backs! Bruce and his partner styled each shot and their teenage children and their friends helped out with modelling.

Working at an aperture of F4 or F5.6 allowed the backgrounds to recede into soft shapes to avoid distracting from the hero product.  We put together two lighting set ups - one for the styled shots with in the lounge areas and a second set up for the individual pieces on a white paper background. We could shoot on one set whole furniture was being moved on the other one.

To ensure we were getting the right feel for each shot, we tethered the Nikon’s flagship D800 camera to a Macbook Pro using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 using the Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VRII, Nikon 24-70mm F2.8, Nikon 14-24mm F2.8 and Nikon 85mm F2.8 tilt/shift lenses. The tilt shift lens allows me to throw backgrounds way out of focus and still keep the products sharply focussed.

THE OUTCOME

From the hundreds of photographs shot and viewed on my Macbook Pro that day, I selected the best 280 files to burn to disc as high resolution TIFFs within 48 hours of the shoot.

Most of the photographs have been prominent on the Watershed Union website since the shoot and Bruce has organised numerous shoots in his amazing Hawthorn showroom.

Feedback from Bruce Grant:

I have worked with Rob on a number of occasions now and have come to respect both his skills as a photographer and his willingness to deliver on our needs as the customer. It’s always very reassuring to know that engaging Rob will produce great images and we can have fun doing so!

Bruce Grant, Watershed Union