Thursday, February 16, 2006

PJs are problem solvers

PJs are presented with stories or concepts and must find ways to illuminate the stories or some portion of them. This often requires quick thinking once we arrive at a location. We must rapidly assess the lighting, shooting angles, lens selections, story concept, subject matter and a shopping list of other factors before we take the first shot.

At other times, we're given enough time to muse over a problem and consider the best way to present the story. Either way, we must solve the visual problem presented.

I typically hold images until they run or until a freelance client's publishing embargo is completed. Occasionally, this requires me to sit on images I'd really like to post - like now.

However, this makes me think about the images or the situation while I wait on publication. Sometimes, the images are simply nice images or a cool story, but sometimes the images present a learning situation. An upcoming set of images presents such a situation.

Recently, I was tasked to solve the problem below. Later, I'll show how I solved it, and even the way I solved it under our present situation (keep in mind our newsroom was destroyed during Hurricane Rita). For today, I'll present the problem and let y'all muse it over. Let's see how close our answers are when I post the final images in a few weeks.

Note: The regional magazine is produced in-house. So, there's not the normal problems associated with discussing and shooting a freelance magazine assignment. I did get permission to publish this problem ahead of the publication date.

The visual problem
Three wineries are listed on a wine trail inside a regional magazine's circulation area. We are to represent the three wineries without playing favorites on a magazine cover. Inside, we need a shot to represent each winery's specialty. The images must appeal to sophisticated tastes, be fast reads and identify the wineries individually.

The wineries are more than 100 miles apart and the publication used a portrait series for the last edition. The studio (and the rest of the floor) is unavailable due to the hurricane damage and reconstruction. All other conference and storage rooms as well as various lobbies in the building have been converted into sections of the newsroom or its support staff.

The subject
Here are the Web sites of the three wineries to consider:
Bruno & George Winery
Frascone Winery
Piney Woods Country Wines

The specs
The cover image must be a vertical image.
It must leave room at the top of the frame for the nameplate. If the background is neutral enough, a fade will do.
The composition should leave space either right or left for story references.
A 3x4" white mailing label box will be placed in the lower, right-hand corner of the cover.

Each image must present signature wines from each winery.
Each image must represent each winery differently.
Each of the three inside images must be equally sized for fairness.

Wine sample bottles will be supplied.
A small prop budget exists for the shoot. However, all props and supporting material must be explained and requested simultaneously before the shoot date. All requested supplies will be presented the day of the shoot. The resulting images are due the following day.

The results
I've already shot this, so this exercise is primarily for folks to put on their thinking caps and see how they'd handle this problem. Each problem must be solved individually before the shooting date. Any supplies and supporting material must be considered and listed exactly or those supplies won't be available for the shoot.

Since I know there will be questions about solving the location, design and lighting problems, I'll post those images before I post the final images.

Then, I'll post the final images to compare against the ideas generated by this problem. Hopefully, some folks will have ways to economically improve my answer to this problem.

Enough for now,

1 comment:

Temple Stark said...

Too much thinking - as I wait for Bill Maher. I'll try and come back to it.

- Temple