The Man WHo Was Sunday
I attended a marvellous lecture today by Vincent Laforet - look him up on Google under film makers and particularly under award-winning film makers - fresh ones. He's been doing it for a very short period of time and has been succeeding beyond his wildest expectations.
Or maybe his expectations have just been getting wilder - he started out shooting newspaper images in New York and after a long and terrifying career with film has advanced to a long an terrifying career with DSLR and DSLR video. The terrifying bit comes when you see how often he has been hanging outside of helicopters or up on the top of the top needle of the Empire State Building.
He apparently got to shoot video with the first of the Canon 5D Mk II cameras in the US and did so by pestering the agents until they gave in. He would make a good customer of Camera Electronic in this.
He is a very good film maker and an amusing lecturer - coping with jet lag and recalcitrant Powerpoint mechanisms to present a riveting keynote address. I love him to bits for articulating the most important thing that a director ( or photographer ) can possibly have for success; the knowledge of what he or she actually wants to do.
Oh, if only this was a requirement for all photographers, both out on the job and in the shop. Heaven knows I have been as guilty as the next person in earlier times for smooching out on the town or country without the faintest idea what it was that I wanted to achieve - and of course achieved nothing.
Mr Laforet seems to have early realised that he needed to control the process and the people associated with the videos. No wonder he has taken out top prizes for his advertising work.
Later in the day I was regaled by a man who has established a pre-eminence in stock photography from Australia of....bare open roads. Ocean roads, outback roads, empty city streets, tunnels, car parks...all with no cars and no signs. All gloriously lit and clean, and as eery as you could get. He sells these for fancy money to motor car firms who will put a computer-generated image of a new car or truck in them. The amount of extra work to artificially draw in lighting and shadows consistent with the road picture is phenomenal but apparently this is more effective than real cars on real roads.
Apparently there is also quite a business of stealing these images and others from stock agencies for re-use. I wonder if any of my pictures have been purloined - probably not as they are nowhere near as good as these.
Finally, We had the last lecture of the day from a delightful man who had shot many famous sports stars, celebrities, and politicians for newspapers and commercial work. He drew quite a laugh from the crowd when he forgot that he was being live streamed onto the net and indulged in a little humour at the expense of some of his subjects. That's a lesson worth remembering. Presumably no harm will come of it. I was particularly delighted to see that he can get such good lighting out of one beauty dish and one fill light and I think I might try some of his technique on my next portrait shoot.
Tomorrow I am going to make a more determined attack on the trade tent - while I hardly need the professional printing and mounting services that can be had in the eastern states, I did notice one firm that seems to be putting together an integrated website, sales, blog and advertising service that
might be a real mind-saver for those of us not skilled in electronic media.