Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Spotters: Zach by Baker and Adams

'I met Zach at our local gym. Aside from his obvious beauty, I noticed how easily he moved and handled his body. He seemed very comfortable in his skin.'

With certain skills, tasks and projects, it is useful to have a spotter.  With a concentrated focus, it s helpful to have another person or partner able to see things surrounding the primary task or goal.  In many pursuits, the spotter is not involved in the main activity, instead they act as a support. For Baker and Adams, they interchange into the role depending on which stage of their work they're in. When it comes to finding and approaching model however, Devin Baker generally works alone as the spotter.

'I'm never certain of the reaction I’ll receive when approaching potential models. However, after I explained to Zach what we do and how we work, his response to my request was “Just tell me where and when”  We found him easy going and open to the experience. We worked with him on three separate occasions, capturing well over 5,000 images. Two of the shoots were in a local photography studio while the third was split between a local wilderness area and a friend’s home. I’d wanted to see and capture the model in as many environments and settings as possible. '

'Art and I are completely collaborative with our photography. I typically find the models, arrange the details including locations, and then pull all the moving pieces together. Art is the artist behind the camera. Our natural abilities and interests seem to compliment each others and we enjoy the experience of creating art together.'

When you think of art, you often think of an artist. Creating is such a complicated process, most people choose, to do it mostly on their own. Devin Baker and Art Adams however, find it more rewarding to create together, as a team. With clearly defined roles, the weave their individual skills and abilities together to create their work.

Most artists who work alone, must balance both the creative with the technical while working.  In reality however, most of us are not equally skilled at both.  Most of us are geared creatively towards one, and have to work extra hard on the other.  Usually, I focus on the story component to shoots; how it came together and the 'feelings' both model and photographer experienced during the process. For this piece, especially with Art being a cinematographer, I was interested in some of the tchniqual aspects of the shoot, especially how Baker & Adam's images of Zach, came to light.

'I'm fascinated by light and how it sculpts faces, bodies and environments.'

'The white limbo setting was inspired by photographs Bert Stern took of Marilyn Monroe. He set up a white backdrop in a hotel room, aimed his strobes at it, and used the ambient light that reflected off the backdrop to bounce around the room and front light her. I love the way that big soft light source from behind reflects in her skin and creates big, broad yet soft highlights. Skin is shiny, so a light source placed opposite the camera will often result in beautiful highlights and reflections, but often the best place to put that source for best results is in the shot. Stern did exactly that.'

'Beautiful soft light wraps around his body from behind, highlighting muscles and curves—particularly in his shoulders, arms, chest and face—while the fill light from the front is almost shadowless but with a slight upward angle due to the white floor. The upward-bouncing light is most noticeable on his face, abs and collarbone, and it creates a subtle directionality that I love. It feels like sunlight bouncing off a light-colored floor.'

'I tried something more natural with the shots against the colored flats. The main source was a large 4' soft box from the left, but that didn't feel like enough. The flats leaned against a white wall, so I bounced a strobe off the wall on the same side as the soft box to create a soft but directional light from slightly behind that, in combination with the soft box, rakes across muscles and brings out chest and ab definition. My fill light came from the same side as the other two lights but was bounced off the floor, to continue my sunlight theme.'

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