This industrial lifestyle advertising image was shot for a major American industrial supply client as a part of an advertising imagery library building project.
Look below to see BTS photos.
We wanted to show that our client would deliver repair parts anywhere and at any time of day in an emergency.
The logistics for this image was interesting:
We needed to get, all at night:
1 - A county employee with his
2 - County water repair truck at the
3 - Fire hydrant that I had selected
4 - We had to get permission to park the county truck in the home owner's drive.
5 - I wanted the location to be on a main road, to ensure we had traffic,
6 - I wanted to show some industry in the background,
7 - I wanted traffic cones
8 - I wanted a police car with the blue lights to
9 - Block the street
The challenge in this type of imagery is to design the lighting. I knew that roughly 30-45 minutes after the sun set the skylight intensity would drop to match any lighting I was going to use. (the reason for this 15 minute range depends if there is any cloud cover and how dense the clouds are.) Knowing this allowed me to understand what I needed to do and where to put all of the elements to work. The "Issue" was this balance of skylight and artificial light lasts 5-9 minutes only. So everything had to be in place prior to this light window.
Originally I was going to use strobes, but when it started to rain I changed my mind, see photos below.
I pulled my car aiming the headlights to evenly light the back of the blue truck, I asked my assistant to aim his car's headlights on the white truck, and the 2 clients both had rental cars so asked them to aim them to illuminate the people and the side of the blue truck. We also asked the police to keep their headlights on too.
We set this shot up and lit it in 12 minutes and shot 200+ photos in 5 minutes or 17 minutes total.
The ability to pre-visualize an image in one's head is important. The ability to change direction in a moment based on new facts, in this case the rain, allows us to get photos that "Work" on a high percentage basis. Also we had shot 18 other shots earlier in the day. All of which were outside and were at different water companies in 2 different counties. Some of these were variations of a master idea, but we were still working and moving.
See the image below to see what we started with light wise. Keep in mind that a lot of the light is from the police car.
My client's comments: "Cinematic lighting using car headlights."
This is one of the scout photos I took and is what we started with:
Here we have all of the elements in place, the county water repair truck, the police car, the traffic cones and the client's truck, just no light, except for the police car's headlights which were important:
A Canon camera using 1250 ISO and 1/60 second shutter speed using a
Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens set to 70mm and f2.8, sitting on a
Sachtler fluid head supported by a
Gitzo CF Tripod with a 75mm bowl.
Heavy overcast, dark, cold and in the rain.
Since it was raining, I decided to not risk using strobes due to possible electrocution and damage. We used car headlights from 4 different cars.
If you would like to use this image, or any of my images for mock or comp use, please just ask. There is never a charge for this service. Educational use is permitted without charge, unless published, but please ask first. All commercial use is available only with a limited copyright release prior to use from the copyright holder, Steve Thornton. Thanks for looking!