Archivi categoria: behindthescenes

The LG G6’s Wallpaper is Actually a Photo

The new LG G6 smartphone ships with an artsy wallpaper that looks like a stylized number 6. A neat fact about the image is that it’s not a computer rendered artwork: it took two months to create and shoot the photos.

Engadget reports that the artwork was created with paper, acrylic, and paint. Various pieces were carefully cut, sprayed, arranged, and lit, creating a piece with real colors and textures.

Here’s a 1-minute video by LG showing how the project was done:

Here’s a closer look at the finished photo wallpaper:

Part of the reason the project took so long was that different materials were used to create 4 versions of the same thing: there’s a different wallpaper displayed depending on which UI theme you’re using on the phone.

LG definitely isn’t the first company to create a digital-art-style default wallpaper with a camera: back in 2015, we shared how the default Windows 10 wallpaper was created by photographing light shining through a pane of glass.

This Photographer Builds Each of His Sets by Hand

Fine art photographer Nicky Hamilton just completed an impressive photo series titled “The Lonely Man.” Each photo in the project took him an average of 3 months to sketch, build, light, and shoot.

Hamilton, a self-taught photographer and the former Head of Art at the ad agency M&C Saatchi, says that the photos in the series came out of the emotions of his own childhood.

“In the early years my Dad started out as a builder,” Hamilton says. “Things were simple, holidays where plenty and so was the laughter.”

“In the mid 80s my Dad lost his business in a freak incident and had to declare himself bankrupt, post a recent purchase of a dream home he could no longer afford,” he continues. “He turned to crime and crime turned him into a drug addict who would one day call his son and ask me to prevent him from commuting suicide.”

Hamilton wanted to create a photo series infused with his thoughts and emotions, but to do it in a way that slows down the process.

“I came to the realization that the photography world was moving too fast,” the photographer states.

After opening his own studio 4 years ago, Hamilton began to explore the idea of spent extremely long periods of time planning and executing each and every photo.

“I wanted to change the pace, my plan was to work akin to a painter with a canvas, creating the photo and not finding it on location,” says Hamilton.

Mostly working alone, Hamilton first comes up with an idea and turns it into a sketch. The sketch is then turned into a 3D pre-visual, where Hamilton pre-lights and tests color palettes.

He then builds, dresses, and styles his sets. Next, Hamilton lights the scene with continuous lighting and shoots his photos using a medium format Hasselblad camera (sometimes multiple shots are combined into the final photos). Finally, the photographer spends a considerable amount of time retouching and grades the photos.

Here’s a sequence of behind-the-scenes images showing the creation of just one of the photos in the project:

Time-lapse of set build for 'The Stairs' 2016. #nickyhamilton #thelonelyman

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Here are some more behind-the-scenes videos followed by the finished photos in “The Lonely Man”:

Production still of 'The Shower' 2016. #nickyhamilton #thelonelyman

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Production still of 'The Loft' 2016. #nickyhamilton #thelonelyman

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Production still of 'The Bathroom' 2016. #nickyhamilton #thelonelyman

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Time-lapse of 'The Weekend' 2016 production. #nickyhamilton #thelonelyman

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Production still of 'The Waiting' 2014. #nickyhamilton #thelonelyman

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Time-lapse of set build for 'The Hotel' 2015. #nickyhamilton #thelonelyman

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Production still of 'The Long Night' 2016. #nickyhamilton #thelonelyman

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Production still of 'The Pub' 2016. #nickyhamilton #thelonelyman

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You can follow along with Hamilton’s work through his website and on Instagram.


Image credits: Photographs by Nicky Hamilton and used with permission

I See You: Avatar Photoshoot Turns Into a Meaningful Experience for Everyone

I’m always searching for interesting personal projects—ideas that are worth the effort and time it takes to make it visible.

Nowadays, I often get suggestions for themes or models for photoshoots. For my personal projects I prefer to come up with my own concepts, but every once in a while along comes a project that is really hard to say no to…

This time it was an idea suggested by Maija, an amateur model trying to find a photographer for the ambitious aim of bringing Neytiri from the movie Avatar to life.

She appeared to be unsure about herself as a model, and genuinely surprised that I was interested in taking part in the project, but for me this was a no brainer: First of all, I love the movie and all the hypervisual elements in it, and secondly, she had already done a good job finding a talented makeup artist/bodypainter and hairstylist to do what was needed to transform her to Neytiri, making it easy to just jump along in the planning.

My first move was to ask my good friend Marko Paakkanen if he could contribute something to the project and he answered by creating a real size Avatar ceremonial bow, how cool is that!

For this project, a lot of different kinds of talent and various elements came together and created something none of us could have done on our own. It took hours and hours of planning, collecting moodboards, and making the props and costumes—including tens of hours to make the unique bow, six hours to braid the hair and nine hours to paint the body.

Finally, three more hours in the photoshoot, I-didn’t-even-count-how-many hours retouching the images, and we were done. I’m proud to present what we accomplished, and I can only hope I will stumble on similar projects in the future, too!

While planning the project I realized that there were more layers to it. I took for granted that Maija was more than suited for playing the part of Neytiri, having even the exact right physique for it: long limbs, noble neck and overall slender appearance. However, talking with her I was stunned to find out that she had recently transformed her lifestyle and lost a LOT of weight… and yet she was still struggling to see herself as beautiful.

“I see you” is one of the important lines in the movie Avatar. Now I was hoping that the results of this photoshoot would make the world -and more importantly- her see herself for what she is.

Avatar is a story of trust, being different and standing up for yourself. I find many of the same elements in this story, and hope that people will get the same feeling from seeing Maija as Neytiri in these images.


About the author: Antti Karppinen is a photographer, digital artist, and retoucher based in Finland. He is an internationally award-winning commercial and portrait photographer. You can find more of his work over on his website and blog.

Behind the Scenes: How I Shot Commercial Photos for Edmunds

Buying a car is a stressful, time-consuming task for the average American. So when I was asked to create imagery that shows the fun, functionality and ease of purchasing a car in the digital age by Edmunds, it was a tall order to say the least.

We covered a lot of locations, lighting conditions, and demographics and may have encountered a few roadblocks (literally) along the way but we got to our destination safe and sound with smiles on our faces.

I wanted to share some of the before and after of some of the images we created and the stories behind them.

The Park

Our creative director really liked the vibe of unpacking the car for a picnic at sunset. Problem was, due to the schedule, we needed to be at another location at sunset. While many people would have shot it and dropped a new background in, I solved the problem by hoisting a Profoto with a P50 reflector on a medium roller behind the tree, put on a CTO gel, and then filled in the subjects with a bounce board and large softbox. We overcame the perils of shooting at high noon and came away with one of my favorite images of the shoot. 

The Lot

June gloom is a reality in San Diego but few extra lights can help recreate the sun. A large soft box over camera and two Profoto heads with P50 reflectors high on opposite ends of the subject outside the frame and flagged created a soft rim light on the hair and separate our model from the background.

The Construction Zone

Our charming setting for the “perfect home” was interrupted by city construction the day of the shoot. What could potentially been a disaster was averted by talking the city crew into finishing their work in front of our house first on the street. In post-production I removed the water valve box, PVC piping and some extra electrical wiring from the background that was immobile from construction.

This shot actually wasn’t planned. We’d been shooting the family inside the car and as they were going in side to take a break the mom got her son out of the car and this moment happened. It was nice and natural so I brought in a Phototek umbrella give them a little more illumination and had them go through the motions a few times till we had a “perfect” moment.

The Coffee Shop

Our initial location was actually up the street, but a few days before our shoot they decided to remodel. Luckily we had a back up location just down the street to keep timing efficient. One of the necessary items in the photo was having a car in the reflection of the windows but our arrival had been delayed. Unfortunately the moment for the sun shining on the parked cars and reflecting in the doors had passed.

…or had it? To create the reflection we aimed a Profoto head with a zoom reflector along the body of the car and opening the restaurant door at a precise angle we could catch the car while we used to large umbrellas, one inside to bring up the ambient light and another outside as a key on the model in the frame to create some separation from the background.

Roadtrip With Dad

While I’d like to take credit for this, it really goes to my producer for casting real, fun, families that I really didn’t have to direct much. I pretty much told them to pretend they are going on a road trip. Did a simple three light set up. A beauty dish on dad, a bounce board on the daughter, and a zoom reflector back streaking across the car illuminate it. They were genuinely an outgoing, active family and when we wrapped early they went surfing after the shoot.

Washing the Car

Trying to shoot and light three moving subjects through a car windshield presents a unique set of challenges. Windshield distortion, lens distortion, reflections, focus issues etc, add soapy water and you have a conundrum. But I brought in a couple of large soft boxes to even out the light and overpower the sun exposure so we have a faster shutter speed to stop motion blur.

Then we cued the fire hoses. I had an assistant with squeegee wipe water away from the windshield every few frames so I could recompose and make sure all the subjects were in the frame.

Yes, I may have gotten a little wet. Yes, it was fun turning kids loose with hoses!

Off to College

Sometimes the trick is to make a high produced photo not look over produced. To remove harsh shadow from the subject with the morning sun we raised a 12 x 12 to cut the light. Inside the garage, a Profoto head is pointing towards the ceiling with a reflector to increase the background ambient light. A beauty dish with a sock is the key for the father/daughter combo and then it’s just a process of going through the motions to of packing the car to get the right combination of expressions replicating sending your kid off to college.

I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look, and a big thanks to an amazing crew for an amazing shoot.


About the author: Stan Evans is a photographer based in Los Angeles, California. You can find more of his work on his website, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter.