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We were back at our old client Entegris just before the weekend shooting some product photography on seamless.gh2_3620

I have posted about Entegris before, but what is cool about working with them is that they have us shoot a wide range of photography, which really exercises our versatility.   I have worked with this client for about 8 years in different capacities.  First shooting for the company when it was called Millipore and Mykrolis through our good friends at Weymouth Design, and now as Entegris with Art Director Anna Anderson.  You can view some of the Entegris work on the commercial web site under “Campaigns,” but we have shot everything from portraits, to clean rooms, to product on seamless.

Challenging location

Challenging location

Last week, it was product on seamless.  I cant show any of the product shots until it has gone to print, but I will say that the biggest satisfaction I get from a shoot like this is photographing under “less than ideal conditions.”

The machine we were sent to photograph was a very large cabinet type machine.  We had arranged to shoot it in a large conference room where we would have lots of space, but when we arrived, we realized that there was going to be one large problem.  The client had asked that we incorporate the touch screen on the front of the panel which is easy to do.  You put the camera on a tripod, shut off the lights, strobe the unit, drag the shutter, and blam!  You get both exposures.

The main issue however was that the machine ran on 220V power, which was only available in the assembly room that the machine was built and tested.  This meant that we HAD to shoot it right where it stood which was a nice challenge becuase the room was very small, and was a true work space where people were busy building and testing machines.

Another challenge to a scenario like this that cant be overlooked is time on scene.  The length of time a photographer spends in a room like this effects the productivity of the work that is being done.  In otherwords, the longer it takes us to set up, shoot, and break down, the longer the company is halted, which in a situation like this, becomes an even bigger challenge.  Quick, purposeful movements are key.

Bear removes the bulbs

Bear removes the bulbs

A second issue we faced in a room like this is the ambient lighting.  As I said, to incorporate the touch screen as well as strobe the product, we needed to have the room dark.

Most of the time (as we all know) is easy.  We just flick a switch and shut off the lights.  But one thing you can count on when shooting in large facilities are safety lights.  Almost every lab, manufacturing facility, or office that I have shot in has a certain number of lights per room (depending on the size) that are on a seperate circuit, and can NOT be shut off.  This is good when the breaker trips and the room does not go totally black and the occupants can see, but bad when you want to shoot a photo in total darkness.

A pain yes… but not a show stopper.  The simple trick is this:  Climb up and take out the bulbs….  (just dont break the florescents.  Been there, done that)

Anyway, Bear and I made quick progress of clearing ourselves a space to shoot, setting up the orange seamless, lighting, then photographing the machine and wrapping out so the guys could get back to work.

All in all, it was a good creative day with great photographs.  The important thing to realize is that you DO NOT need a large sophisticated studio to shoot great images.  Improvisation is key, and will be more helpful over a career than the perfect space.

Thanks again Anna for the work, and the continued faith in what we do!

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