Where some see just a piece of cutlery, Italian photographer Angelo Antelmi sees a tool for expressing an idea. It is different way of looking at the everyday objects in our surroundings, and it is most likely that which has turned Angelo into a successful product photographer.
“Still life photography is fantastic,” says Angelo. “It is one of the few photographic activities where you cannot bluff. To create a great image, you need a great idea and great equipment, and in the end, still life images respond to only one requirement: clarity. Clarity of the concept expressed. Clarity of the image. Clarity in product visibility. And so on…”
An illustrative example of Angelo’s philosophy of simplicity is his image of the spinning fork. The image in question was shot as part of an assignment for an Italian catering company. The company claimed to offer high-quality service “on the tip,” and Angelo illustrated this by making a fork look like it was dancing.
“It wasn’t easy to create something lively and poetic out of such a commonly used tool,” says Angelo. “The winning choice was to rotate the fork on its own axis, hanging by a thread of cotton, which I then removed in postproduction. To enhance the concept of the dance, I curled a little tulle around the body the fork, which helped to humanize the object and give the feeling of movement.”
Simplicity also guided Angelo when he set up his lights. He used one light source: a Profoto Softbox 1×3’ RF, mounted on an Acute/D4 Head, powered by a D4 Air generator. The softbox was placed to the left of the fork, with one piece of black fabric on each side of the softbox to prevent the light from hitting the background or the camera in the front. Finally, Angelo had a reflector screen on the right-hand side of the fork to light up shadows.
Once set, Angelo spun the fork, opened the shutter and fired his flash numerous times. The result: a dancing fork.
“Without the D4 Air, this shot would not have been possible,” says Angelo. “I believe we fired the flash 12 times in this particular image. If there had been even the slightest variation in terms of power or color temperature, the final result would have been seriously compromised. The harmony of the picture depends on the perfect consistency of all twelve bursts. I don’t know any other generator that would enable me to do that.”
Written by Fredrik Franzén
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