Last week I got an assignment for the PXL University College. Having worked with them many times before I was really curious on what new challenge they had for me, and it was a fun, yet complicated one!

Their iSpace project needed some campaign images. Part of their IT department, it takes cutting edge technology, and finds new implementations. But the problem with IT is that you are almost always dependent on screens.

The ‘easiest’ photo was the Karting. Through a Microsoft HoloLens you can upgrade your karting experience with augmented reality by completing additional checkpoints.

While I could have make things easy for me and use a long lens to shoot the driver on a field and pan along, I really wanted to have the in-your-face feeling of a wide-angle lens, and the thrill of the game.

So I mounted a Nikon D5 with a 24 mm f/1.4 and a 1/2CTO Gelled Profoto B2 to the kart with some clamps and Manfrotto Magic Arms. Obviously I had to test my contraption myself first, to make sure that everything was secure. I mean, just a few laps, you know. For science!

Test photo without the flash.

Since we are in Belgium I was counting on overcast weather, meaning we could have a slow shutter speed of several second and be able to just drive slowly and stable for the best picture. But for once we were blessed with a full blown morning sun, and the best we could get was a 60th of a second. So going full speed in the corner with the trees as background made for the best shot with the most motion blur.

With the sun backlighting him, the strobe illuminates his face and makes it as sharp as possible (we can even see the individual strands of fabric of his hood), while the overal is more blurred because of the sun. It only adds to the speed feeling of the picture, and we nailed it on the fourth run.

The other  images had their own challenges. While I didn’t want to go too dramatic, additional splashes of color were made to add some life to the older buildings their IT department is currently residing in. In the Vive image on top I enhanced the splash of red that their ASUS computer was casting, and I used a 1/2 CTO for the key light in a huge umbrella, and a 1/2 CTB in a gridded strip-light for the fill light. This creates a very natural feeling image, but still 100% lit.

The above image shows off a team building code for some robots. The first idea of hands-on work on the robot was kindly declined, since they really wanted to show what they were really working on. Roll in the TV!

Same for this image. Since I wanted the contributing factor of their project front and center, I figured some whiteboards would be nice. Add that with a projector, some cool blue light and a robot for a prop, and you get this image.

All in a day’s work.