My Photo Blog

Hidden Beauty – Philadelphia Industrial Photographer

In life, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, or hidden and waiting to be found. This has been one of the major motivating drives in my photography. I love the challenge, of a less than attractive industrial location. Dust and grease mixed together with old concrete floors and heavy equipment. Overhead lighting that may give the room a green, orange, or dirty look, to all of it’s occupants. One of the easy ways, I first discovered to deal with it, was with black and white films and filters. Using tungsten lights, or flash, I would add shape and drama to the scene. The next approach, was shooting in color, but making it look better than reality. Even though, I have used this technique with film, the example was shot with digital. The first step, was to adjust my camera film setting, to 3200 degrees kelvin and using a studio flash, which is about 5500 degrees kelvin, I bounced the flash off of a wall. The combination, gave the room an overall cool blue look, which made a great look on the room and inanimate objects, but not so good on people. And this, is where the challenge comes in, of placing individual lights, for each person in the scene. Each light had a warming correction gel and was hidden from the cameras view. Working with people in any situation, is pretty much the same, keeping them from looking posed. To do this, I would have everyone move between each exposure. Because this was an industrial manufacturing facility, everyone needed to wear the proper safety gear for their industry, which was mainly safety glasses. And as the photographer, it is to my best interest, to make sure they do, because retouching takes time.

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