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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

Not only is Fabrik good with caffeinated beverages, but they also incorporate water in many of their images. It's usually an essential part of the composition, too. Take the images of the half-submerged Canon camera and the splashing perfume bottle; Fabrik relies on lighting and digital expertise equally to make the products as well as the water look perfect.

“The Canon image is two exposures—one with the camera in the water and one with the camera in the tank without water,” explains Simon. “The edge of the tank and the device that held the camera were removed afterward. To create blue water for the perfume image, we used blue gels while shooting. As always, we try to do as much in-camera as possible.”

Adds Beat, “One of the reasons why we're quite experienced working with water is because Sylvan and I are still haunted by what we had to do as apprentices. Our former boss' passion was aquariums. He always asked us to take pictures of his fish while he was on vacation so he could be assured that they were well while he was gone.”

Perhaps the image that represents the studio's perfect balance between creativity and commerce, and showcases their meticulous preparation, lighting expertise and postproduction prowess, is one made for German ski manufacturer Völkl. It looks as much like an abstract painting as it does a snow ski.

“It's in fact a black ski and binding,” says Sylvan. “The idea was to imitate the look of a slick, fast car, like a Porsche. In order to emphasize the elements of the design, we needed to emphasize the edges of the ski to create form. The ski and binding were disassembled and brought to a car body shop. We used an actual black Porsche paint to spray the skis. We reassembled the ski and started shooting.”

Although the computer plays an essential role in creating every Fabrik Studios image, it's obviously no replacement for old-fashioned creativity coupled with a comprehensive understanding of the principles of photographic lighting and product styling that apply no matter what device is recording the image.

“We want to be photographers who create images that are appreciated as good photography, not bad Photoshop manipulations,” says Beat.

To see more of Fabrik Studios' photography, visit www.fabrik-studios.ch.



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