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Cool Catalogs Done Digitally



TEXT BY ERIN HARRINGTON-PLONSKI • IMAGES BY GEERT TEUWEN

This issue's cover image was shot by digital dynamo Geert Teuwen. Bergdorf Goodman requested it for a direct mailer and it was all done, from concept to completion, literally, in a day's work. With the grace becoming of the pro he is, Teuwen set himself to the task. "Everything was fine," he says. "The whole team, we've all worked together for a long time, so we all know each other. And, we have all the resources we need right here in New York City; we can just run out and get props."

His approach was to shoot off the backgrounds first, as there were several of them. Because the client wasn't really sure exactly what they were looking for, Geert decided to shoot the images separately, and marry them up later in Photoshop so they could choose what to put together. (He shot with the Sinar Back 23 with the microscan.)

"The client wanted very hard lighting, so I essentially used just one light, a Broncolor head with a P70 Reflector with a small grid and barndoors." Initially, Geert lit off of a white background, but quickly noticed that he was getting reflections back from the white on the shorts, which softened up the image. He then tried to shoot it on a black background and his shadows closed up. Consequently, he decided to shoot the shorts on a piece of glass, and rose that up about 10 inches from a white background, so he would still have nice hard edge that was easy to put a clipping path around to marry the shorts with the background.

Once the shoot was done, Geert went to work on the computer (the G4, 500 dual processor)."Once we had done the backgrounds and photographs," he notes, "We, for a series of them, used fabric, and made wrinkles in them and took the photographs out of focus. The background of the boxer shorts is a piece of plexi-glass, with bevels in it. So, we put some colored gels in it. In the end, I went into Photoshop, colorized and gaussian blurred it and added some noise to it to avoid banding."

Because time often doesn't allow for output, Geert typically puts a color card in the first shot of the first lighting. " I'll take a picture of that, and I'll supply that with a file to the printer, so he has a reference of what I'm looking at. I prefer to shoot RGB, I don't really do the conversions, because I'm never sure what they're going to be printing on. If I can't talk to the printer and get his profile, I have no idea what he's doing. So I gave the printer my files and he took it from there."

When asked what keeps the clients coming, he states, "I can get the job done. They know when they walk out of here that they have gotten what they were looking for, and often in a very short timeframe."

For the last year, he hasn't shot film at all. "The deadlines are becoming tighter and tighter, they're almost daily. The clients says 'These have to be released tomorrow morning' and I'll say 'Okay, let's figure it out.' Whatever it takes, we get it done for them."


   







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