From the vault…

It’s not that I haven’t been doing photo things this week (boy have I!!), just nothing bloggy, or bloggy “yet”… so in the interim, in the interests of presenting interesting things, I’ll share these little photos I made a couple of years ago for a theatrical production of “James and The Giant Peach” – the story by Roald Dahl. There were a few references for this, not the least being the book and its various cover artworks, the film, and other plays. The key was clearly “the peach”, so I set about finding one. Here’s how it all ended up:
First thing – the artwork was done in June (2008), and peaches aren’t in season then (they are a summer fruit). Thank goodness for the web, and the easy availability of quality plastic fruit. A quick transaction, and AU$5 + postage later, and I was the proud owner of a life-sized plastic peach, with authentically flocked exterior. This turned out to be perfect, and far more “peach-looking” than many real peaches I looked at months later (I reckon).
Second thing – those with good memories will recall the peach spends a great deal of the story floating in the sea, which is where I wanted to put it, offering a simple background, and nice bright colours, so I needed a sea background…. Off I drove to the beach (Elwood, as I recall) to make a photo of the sea with as clear a horizon as possible. This is not that easy near a city, but I found a little bit of sea, and then proceeded to print it as a massive b&w backdrop (A0-ish) using the Rasterbator program – which meant sticky-taping a grid of 20 trimmed A4 pages together. This was then clipped upside down to a lighting stand…
You can see from the setup here why I’ve done this!
To get the background “underneath” the peach, so it seems to be floating on the water – the peach sits of a piece of glass, with black card underneath. The background, lit with a (blue gelled) flash gun, reflects from the glass into the camera lens, the right-way-up! The peach is lit from camera-left by another flash, with a homemade (cardboard and corflute) grid, so the light is tightly focussed. Any reflection from the glass bounces away from the camera on the glass, and the peach itself is not reflective enough to reflect this light back into the lens either!
And from that we end up with this (before the dustspots have been removed in post, and the seagulls and boy added…) All in all a satisfyingly premeditated crazy idea that literally bore fruit, boom boom…

2 thoughts on “From the vault…

  1. I saw that poster a number of times, and I certainly didn’t think about the work that goes into producing the image. Normally, I just assume its done with computerly skills…
    Its nice to read about how it is done in a more ‘manual’ (you know I want to say old-fashioned 🙂 ) way.
    Good work.

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