Team Induro member Chris Garrison recounts the shoot that literally started his career. We love when dreams come true (especially when we can share the joy every step of the way.)
As a younger photographer, I would always dream about working with large brands in the automotive, marine and off-road industries. To me, these would be the pinnacles of my career shooting some of the best products in the most stunning locations around the world. Fast-forward to the current day these are considerably some of the hardest, most demanding, and rewarding shoots I have been on. They have kept me up for 40 plus hours straight in a dark studio, pushed me upwards of 20 hours a day for 30 days straight, and they have grown me mentally as a professional over the past several years.
When I was first approached by Malibu/Axis boats, they were currently working with a digital art based company Alreadybeenchewed.tv. They wanted a unique CGI/Digital Art look to their main hero images. I was told I had to create all the studio images for 14 boats over a 7-day period averaging 14 images per boat. Let me also mention that I had to do all of this with the video crew in house capturing the moving images for the studio portion. It sounded mostly crazy but I was more than willing to take on the challenge of my first big studio shoot.Due to the time constraints and working in a confined area with video, I decided to go with a light painting technique. This would give me an image style that would match the digital art, and keep the gear down to a minimum for a faster moving shoot. Knowing the fact I was setting myself up to work endless days in a pitch-black room with no chance for errors, I chose the best and most reliable equipment on the market.
Stability was a key factor for the shooting style. I would be shooting multiple images with different lighting effects and layering them together after to create the final image. The camera could not move a hair or the images would not match up in the post processing. I also had to move very quickly and have different options of gear to shoot inside and outside of the boat.
I choose to use the combination of the Induro 3-Series Carbon Fiber tripod, the Induro Carbon Fiber High Hat, and the Induro BHL3 ball head on both. Both the tripod and high hat are rock solid and I knew I could count on them not letting the camera flinch for what could be an hour at a time for a single image. This is a perfect combination for working inside and outside of the boats for speed and adjustability.
A Westcott Icelight 2 was mounted on an Induro Carbon Fiber Monopod for the lighting. The Induro Carbon Fiber Monopod has a staggering long reach and is feather light so I can keep it above my head for those 14 or so miles a day walking around boats.
Both the PhaseOne and Nikon were triggered in bulb mode by my on site assistant.
We remotely controlled the PhaseOne via the Capture Pilot and the Nikon via Camranger. Both systems were run off of my Mac Pro Tower and screened to a remote iPad so I had a screen on both sides of the room to see the images.
The resulting final images are the product of days of walking around a boat and countless hours of post processing in Photoshop. This shoot taught me so much about my self, my team, and my gear that can never be replaced. It was also the starting point that really launched my career and I am glad to be where I am at today because of it.
Chris Garrison’s Recommended Gear: