The client’s brief required us to capture both video and stills of a new high-performance machine. We’ve worked for Gorman Dynamics for several years, but this shoot was particularly fundamental as this specific machine is the first of its kind, and was about to be shipped to America… pretty exciting!
This machine was slightly different to the ones we’ve shot previously; it’s safe to say this is the biggest product we’ve ever had to photograph, weighing a whopping seventeen tones!! The product’s size and scale meant the logistics of the shoot took a little bit of brain power and problem-solving. Pre-production time was extremely important to the success of this shoot. Therefore, we took a trip to Gorman Dynamics’ industrial warehouse site, based locally in Christchurch to take a sneak peek at the magic machine! This gave us more of an insight into the look and material of the machine, allowing us to discuss different angles with the client and identify how every aspect could be captured, to meet the client’s expectations. The majority of products we usually photograph tend to be shot within our in-house studio, here at Double Exposure Photographic. However, given the enormity of the product, the studio had to come to the product!
Shooting on location is always great fun and the first time we have done so for Gorman Dynamics. Although, sometimes it can be a little more time-consuming, as we have to transport all the necessary lighting equipment needed to capture high-quality images and to make the product look the best it can be. Excellent polished lighting generally requires more lights, skilled camera experience and time, which we feel is our unique selling point as commercial photographers. We have to admit we often bring more gear than we really need, but after all, it’s better to be overprepared than it is to be underprepared! We even hired a large van to ensure we could carry bigger equipment such as tall tripods, multiple lights, modifiers, multiple C stands, diffuser boards and sheets, as well as all the relevant lens sizes, to allow us to be fully flexible and creative in our approach.
We worked closely with our client to understand the functionality of the machine, its coated semi-gloss finish, specific colour palette and the overall purpose of each shot. The challenging part of this shoot was the inability to move the product to the desired angle. However, this is where our extensive knowledge and photographic gear came to play! The tall tripod enabled us to elevate the camera to capture a 45-degree perspective of the machine. Using a shorter tripod, allowed us to capture the product from a lower angle, adding impact to the shot. Photographing a person in a frame against the product also helped to reveal a sense of scale.
Continuous lighting was important for the shoot, to ensure efficiency and reliability. We used a large set up of lights to enhance the entire product, and lots of fill light (collateral images) to highlight parts of the machine. We used a range of diffuser sheets to reduce reflections where necessary and to capture more of a soft diffused lighting effect.
Creating the video was really exciting, enabling us to capture the machine in action. This was our chance to be a little more creative to capture all the finer details such as gantry systems, components, material finishes, and the ultra-high precision of the machine. We used pan and tilt focus pull techniques to creatively capture the product’s performance, as well as moving the camera in the direction of the machine to help the video flow well. We even experimented using a 4K Go Pro camera to capture detailed shots of more unique perspectives, which would be a lot harder to achieve with our Nikon.
Below are the final stills and snapshots from the video, as well as some cool behind the scenes – if you need industrial location product photographers, then feel free to get in touch to see how we can help!