A few weeks ago we were asked to produce a promotional shot set in our common-room in college. Divided into small groups the objective was to create a clean and useable image from amongst the mess and chaos that is the baseroom.
Given that Google had implemented the contentious changes to their privacy settings that morning we decided to create something a little more topical:
The challenge was to produce a clean and tidy image from a less-than-ideal location. If you look at the image below you can see that a wider shot would have included unsightly and distracting cables, pipework and the general clutter that goes with a working office/computer room. So we decided to create a fairly tight shot to exclude as much of the unwanted distractions as we could manage.
We moved a few items and positioned the screen to suit the image best. We also moved the camera position and height a number of times to give us the best compromise between the POV for the shot that we ideally wanted and the desired composition. You can see the reflection of the single light we used in the screen below. In the tight surrounding we were working in it was impossible to avoid the reflection with the light. Another issue we had was that the correct exposure for the overall scene resulted in the screen looking blank. To address both issues the final image is a composite of the image below with a second image taken without the flash that is correctly exposed for the screen. We simply layered the 2 images and deleted the screen from the ‘lit’ image to allow the correctly-exposed screen to be visible.
It was an interesting assignment to work as a group to come up with a concept for the image and then implement it, ensuring that everyone (SamF, MichaelaT and MarkB) each had a voice and felt like they were making a worthwhile contribution. It was important that each person explained what they were trying to achieve with each step to ensure everyone was on the same page and were bought-into the approach taken. Working out how to achieve a clean image was a collaborative effort involving a lot of trial and error creating test shots.