The eye sometimes deceives!
I’m here back again to write after a bit of time because I have received several opinions about the album cover of our latest record “Russian Roulette“. There is who likes and who does not like it, but everyone told us to congratulate those who have worked so hard with photoshop (or any equivalent graphics program) for its realization. At these words I have always said: “Dude there’s no computer graphics, it is a real photo, made with real cameras and a torch! The merit is all of two photographers: Carlo Mastropasqua and Davide Mantovanelli!”. The incredulous reaction of the people to this sentence has prompted me to write this post to let everyone see that I do not lie!
The cover of “Russian Roulette” is somewhat different from the usual … is clearly a revolver … but it has something strange. If you look closer you realize that it is a quite strange and complicated revolver. The idea came up suddenly and we moved immediately contacting the two photographers:
_ “Hey guys, we would like to take pictures for our new album!!”
| “Ok, what is the plan?”
_ “We thought of a picture of a gun … a bit special … we would like to compose it exclusively with musical instruments. With our personal musical intruments!”
| “Great, we work everyday with guns build up with musical instruments! Ah ah ah!”
_ “We’d like a realistic job and not a graphic collage made with Photoshop!!”
| “Sure! We are specialized in photos of guns made of musical instruments without using photoshop…”
Auks, after our absurd proposal, the two photographers did not loose heart, and together we have started to get serious. First of all, some studies of proportions have been done in order to see if the idea of the gun was feasible. We thought about a photograph in perspective but the yield was not at optimal, therefore it was decided for a side profile photo but here began the real problems. Get high enough to have enough visual is not a simple thing and also the prospects would remain staggered since the musical instruments would have lied on the floor.
So we had the crazy idea to compose the gun “in the air”. Crazy idea that has resulted in a day full of work spent to build a scaffold that was capable of supporting the composition of musical instruments. After building it we started the composition itself that took as much time between camera shots, repositioning and studies of light. Davide and Carlo have strenuously tried several methods to emphasize the light and shape of the revolver in order to achieve an effect as realistic as possible. After hundreds of hours of testing and shots they have chosen the method by which the final cover have been realized: the lightpainting.
We asked the photographers what they think of the work done: “After all, the secret to getting the final photo is only one: remove the cap from the lens for optimum brightness, ah ah ah! Seriously, the work was challenging, but the result speaks for itself. Simple gimmicxs as a flash job first and then the lightpainting, followed by a minimal post-production (ie the optimization phase with the computer), designed to emphasize the structure of the light and shadows and eliminate the few places where you could see the wire that supported the musical instruments.”. Are you wondering what the hell is the lightpainting? It is a photographic technique that plans to hold the camera on a tripod, the ambient brightness reduced to zero, and a controlled exposure lasting several seconds. As long as the shutter is open, and then the sensor is “seeing” the dark scene, you go with a light source to illuminate only the points of interest of the subject, ie the revolver in this case. Only lit areas are going to impress the sensor, making the lighting very selective and rather manageable.
So yes, you read right, it is not a collage, not a graphic, is a “simple” photography. I know you still do not believe it and then we shot a video of the construction of the cover, enjoy it rocker!