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BY Elizabeth Leitzell June 02, 2010 · Published by Resource Magazine

How do you create an image of a bathroom seamlessly leading to an opera stage? Commercial photographer Gregor Collienne explains.

This article has been contributed from the Fall 2009 issue of Resource Magazine, courtesy of the publisher. To subscribe to the magazine and explore Resource’s online features, visit the Resource Magazine website.

Artwork courtesy of Gregor Collienne.

Mission: To create an image of a bathroom seamlessly leading to an opera stage.

What was the biggest challenge of this shoot?

We had to create eight different sets for the whole campaign in a short amount of time. The size of the sets and the number of people I had to handle in the picture as well as on set were quite new for me. We had around thirty people on set, plus eighty extras for this one visual. Another challenge was to make the different scenes as real and credible as possible in a semi “built” environment.

You went on locations and installed 1:1 sets instead of shooting two sets in studio and compositing in post. Why did you choose this method?

We chose this option because it’s much easier to match the two different universes this way. It also helps in keeping the real light transitions and shadows. The perspectives and angles are immediately correct and the image ends up looking more real. You don’t have to put together two different universes in Photoshop—that often makes the image look fake. While shooting, you can better imagine how the final picture will look. It makes things much easier in post-production. The disadvantage here is the expense of creating such large and detailed sets.

Why did you shoot in Argentina? The client is German, you are based in Belgium, so why go to Buenos Aires?

We were at first supposed to follow a film production there. When it became apparent that the TV sets were not appropriate for our shoot, we were already so far into preparation that we decided to still shoot in Argentina.

What kind of post-production was involved?

Even though we brought the bathroom set to the theater, we shot each scene separately. It made directing the talent easier. We then put the different scenes together, as well as cleaned up the pictures, adapted contrast and color, and added some effects to give more impact to the final image.

What camera/lens/digital back was used?

Camera: Mamiya 645 AF

Lens: 50mm

Digital Back: Phase One P45

Can you describe your lighting setup?

The base light is a mix between artificial and flash. The artificial light was used on the warmer parts of the image, while the flash was used to give more impact on certain details. We used about twenty-five flashes.

What was the shoot day like?

The day before shooting, we did a pre-light to prepare ourselves as much as possible. At the beginning of the shoot day, we made adjustments on the sets, the lighting, hair and make-up, styling, etc. We then shot scene-by-scene as well as separate backgrounds. While shooting, we already tried to assemble the different scenes on Photoshop, in order to see whether the colors, the lighting, and the action matched.

Photographer: Gregor Collienne— /

Client: T-Home, Deutsche Telekom

Ad Agency: Tribal DDB Hamburg

Art Directors: Jana Krupinski, Christine Gilges

Art Buyer: Kimberly Bianchi

Producer: Arne Weingart—Lunik

Art Department: Sven Gessner

Retoucher: Imagerefinery Hamburg

Set Elements, Styling, and Props

Featured photographer: Gregor Collienne

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