Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Fabrik Studios - It's Still Photography
Even with the latest digital tools on hand, Fabrik Studios relies on old-fashioned skills to make magic happen
The photographers who comprise Fabrik Studios walk a fine line between art and commerce. Thanks to a proven track record, this trio of photographers, plus one digital imaging expert, is given the freedom to get creative—and often artistic and abstract as well—on most assignments with the products they're hired to photograph. Although they divide their time between two continents, the Fabrik team efficiently makes extraordinary images that clients not only want to publish, but want to display on their own walls.
Fabrik Studios is four young guys from Switzerland: Sylvan Müller, Adrian Mueller, Beat Brechbühl and Simon Eugster. The group occupies two studios—one in New York, the other six time zones away in Switzerland. Surprisingly, the fact that the Fabrik team is divided by an ocean benefits their work and often helps to streamline their creative process. But it wouldn't work that way if they had to shoot film.
“Sylvan and Beat work predominantly in our studio in Switzerland while I shoot here in New York,” says Adrian. “Depending on the work we have or the scope of the assignment, one or the other comes over to work together with me. Simon, our digital imaging artist who retouches and preps our files, is working out of our Swiss studio. We usually upload any image shot here in New York to our Website in the evening after an assignment. Since Switzerland is six hours ahead, Simon can work on it in the morning and upload it back to the site. By the time I get up, the files are ready for proofing.”
The digital revolution has obviously changed the studio's standard operating procedure. According to Adrian, it hasn't changed what they shoot, just how they shoot it. It's more than simply their ability to transmit files and proof online; their in-studio procedures are tailor-made for digital as well.
“We just make several exposures now, one each for every detail,” explains Adrian. “We can solve very complex lighting problems and deliver finished files—not several large-format chromes.”
Adds Sylvan, “The big advantage is our ability to deliver to our clients exactly what we intended. With film, we would send them several sheets of chromes and their postproduction department had to put it together. We never knew if the look we wanted to create would come through. Digital has given us control over that now.”
The Fabrik team didn't just head for the newest technology as soon as it became available. They studied it until they deemed it ready to meet the needs of their demanding clients.