Product photography on a giant scale

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Earlier in the week I had the pleasure of getting the oppurtunity to do some product photography for some very high end RV’s.  Entegra coach approached us earlier in the year about doing there product photography for their new lineup.  So obviously we said yes and jumped in the car for a 13 hour drive to the east.  Entegra Coach is a branch of Jayco.  Jayco is located in the beautiful Amish country of Middlebury, Indiana.  If anyone ever has a chance to jump off of I80 on their way to Chicago I would for sure recommend it.  Middlebury is an awesome blend of traditional Amish culture and modern day Americana.  You can’t drive a mile on the highways without passing a horse pulled buggy and the factories literally have stables where the Amish pull their horses in while they do their shift in the factory.  We thought we were hitting it hard when we showed up at 6am to start shooting and found the parking lot full of people already working.  The countryside is also probably the most manicured I have ever seen.  Not a picket missing from a fence or a blade of grass out of place.  As far the shoot goes we were met with some unexpected challenges and figuring them out was an awesome challenge.  The problems resulted from a high end RV is one very shiny object 🙂  A giant mirror that loves to put your camera, yourself, or soft box in the shot.  The perfect spot for a camera or light is sometimes not possible due to a reflection that fouls the shot.  Until this week I have never really sat back and analyzed exactly how reflections work.  Sounds funny but they are just part of our world but trying to predict them based on surface geometry and angles is amazingly difficult.  The second challenge was lighting the interiors beautifully while at the same time letting the accent lighting do exactly what the designers wanted it to do.  At first we tried strobes.  Then we tried strobes on a very low power.  Then we tried bouncing light.  Then we finally got out of our own way.  We let the interiors light themselves.  We achieved this by using long exposures and bracketing to finesse multiple exposures to hold the detail in the deep shadows as well as the highlights around the accent lighting.  We also used a small LED light panel to bounce just a touch of soft light off the ceiling which added a nice specular to the highlights.   I can’t thank Kyle Metzger enough for being my assistant on this project.  I truly look forward to working with Kyle in the future!  He works hard and pays attention to the details that sometimes go unnoticed by me.  I hope everyone is having a great December!  Christmas is right around the corner! 🙂  Sorry I’m a child when it comes to Christmas.

Matt W.



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