DrewPortrait
Drew Gardner photographed on Polaroid Type 55 by Lucinda Marland

Recently I was commissioned by Suzuki to shoot a print and billboard ad for the Suzuki Swift.

It was based around an incident in a tattoo parlour, which goes horribly wrong, the tattooist misspells the word ‘respect’ writing ‘resplect’ instead.

Resplectsm

To unimaginable consequences but very funny.

Now this shoot is the most interesting I have undertaken in a very long time.

Why?

Because as well as shooting the ad as a still, my team and I shot it as a short movie for the client too.

A true glimpse into where I believe the industry is heading at breakneck speed.

We shot the still in the morning and decided to retain the same lighting to give the same visual ‘language’ in print and moving images.

It was a lot of fun but there are many differences.

Ok, first the kit………

We used a Canon 5d mk2 on a Zacuto Rig, which puts you in charge of the focus, and a Marshall V-LCD70P monitor, which lets you judge focus so much more acurately than on the LCD.

In my mind the shoot just would not have been possible without these two pieces of kit.

I could bang on about the kit some more but this shoot revealed so much more to me.

For a successful moving image shoot it really is less about one person and more about the team of people around you.

In fact it was like stepping back in time to a pre-Photoshop age for one very simple reason.

Shock horror!

You have to get it right in camera!

Yes folks, if you don’t get it in-camera and have not made provision, it is not there.

I feel this is set to bring back ‘camera’ craftsmanship and will deal a blow to those who use retouching as a crutch for bad photography.

And we all know that there are many of those out there, right?

All of a sudden direction was back in on the shoot, and there was nobody paintively whispering in my ear, “Don’t worry we will fix it in post.”

We either got it or we didn’t.

All of a sudden I felt I had ‘come home.’

Less of the computer stuff and more of the photography.

Which in my mind is what it should be about.

When I’m lecturing I conduct a little question and answer session and I go round the audience and ask…

‘Why did you become a photographer?’

The answers are in the range of…

‘Because I love taking pictures.’

‘I wanted to travel.’

‘To meet people and see the world.’

Many, many others too, but you know what?

Not one person has ever said they became a photographer because they wanted to be a computer operator.

Now I’m not saying I’m against the use of Photoshop, something I use extensively in ‘The Descendants’ series.

But getting it right in the can is way more fun and profitable too.

So enjoy all the post production by all means, but get out there and remember the meaning of the word Photography.

‘To draw or paint with light.’

To see more of Drew’s unique vision and work, visit his website and blog.