Interview with matteo mescalchin at Thursday 21st of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
mm : It all started as a real challenge. The day I’ve been asked to create some photographs of selected AMG Mercedes Benz cars by a local dealer, I was really excited with the idea of working on such beautiful subjects. I started envisioning some compositions right away and found myself sketching lighting diagrams on a piece of paper in a matter of minutes… Than early informations came to me thanks to the work of my brother Andrea who got involved as project manager on our first draft plan. As you may imagine, moving around really expensive cars like those wouldn’t have been so easy. Despite the shooting list being pretty straight, it looked like a time sensitive project from the beginning. To make a long story short: the only option left on our table was to shoot 9 cars within 2 different shooting days with the final goal of creating 4 final images for each model. Perfection is not of this world, so I was facing a dreamy shooting on very tight time and space.
Due to logistics and budget in fact, we had only 2 night shifts available (6 hours each including setting up and tearing down all lighting equipment) to get the job done. Location was also confined in space compared to well sized studio, as we had to shoot in the client’s showroom.
All that said I knew some projects come as opportunity, and this had to be one of those so I took the risk and dove into it.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
mm : My main focus was to create good looking, stylish, high quality digital images within the given time.
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
mm : My team and I had less than 60 mins per car available (average time including setting up and moving things around) to create 4 highly refined final images.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
mm : Luxury cars are usually lit and shot in big studios using a big translucent or reflective ceiling as active or passive light source (usually reflecting lights coming from floor projectors). I’ve been using quite a different lighting design based on occlusion theory and techniques. Being able to fine control light in quality, direction, and power I build desired levels of light-to-shadow contrast accordingly with predetermined concept, style and image look.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
mm : I’m a soft light enthusiast and I love Chimera Lighting lightbanks for how greatly they soften my strobes. For this project I’ve been using Chimera 5ft Octaplus as main source for most of the shots and a couple of SuperPros. A good amount of flash power, Lighttools egg crates and a few smaller custom-made modifiers have been part of my lighting arsenal too. I shot on Hasselblad digital medium format in order to delivery the best image possible to my client also in terms of pixels and colors.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
mm : I think each photograph is unique by its own nature of being a real captured image. I would probably come up with different outcomes myself if I would work on the same project all over again…. hopefully though I should create something even better if I stick up with my resolution on continuous learning. I love this job because I can grow my skills bigger and better everyday.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
mm : Teamwork is essential to my job indeed. All my gratitude to my team members at digitalmovie and all the people contributing to this projects from art director to client and account.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
mm : Technology is very important factor from grip to lights, from lens to camera sensors. I like to work with high end equipment for the best possible output. Being open to new solutions and aware of new technologies in the field is my responsibility as commercial photographer.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
mm : Challenges have been mainly time related. When I work to clear off unwanted reflections for example, I need to be really effective and experienced in knowing exactly how to move a light source in order to properly solve the problem. Anyone could eventually clear unwanted reflections moving things around for a while, but the key point is to be experienced enough to have it done quickly.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
mm : I've been kindly invited. Now I’m glad I welcomed that invitation. Thanks for that.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
mm : I’ve learnt a lot about teamwork, lighting, photography, as it happens almost all the times in my work days. I think we all are given with a good chance to improve ourselves everyday.