Thursday 18th April – the date was set, invite MailChimped and Facebooked and tied to a pigeon’s leg. The event that was over 3 years in the making (we never had a launch for our old studio!) finally came to fruition and a salty good time was had by all.
There was lightly salted beer – a handcrafted brew by Dr Jonathon Carroll with pink salt added (his article about the making of it here), slider burgers, a popcorn machine and more salty food and booze than you could poke a prawn skewer at.
It turned out to be a highly successful night and was a great opportunity to catch up with clients we’re proud to call friends and friends we’re proud to call ‘hey you’.
Check out the time lapse from the first half of the night:
The first 2.5 hours of the 2013 Lightly Salted studio launch party, if you were there you enjoyed yummy sliders, lightly salted beer from the keg and a great atmosphere made up of a whole bunch of creative people.
Heath at Montage Creative is on the same wavelength as me. When he rang a couple of months ago and briefed me on this job I knew exactly what he wanted and I’ll be honest, it made me a little bit excited. Had I known we would end up shooting all three of these images on location on the hottest day of the month (33 degrees Celsius) I probably wouldn’t have been quite as excited. Who am I kidding, of course I would have! These kinds of shoots are why I do what I do. The challenges, the planning, the challenges, the hours of sitting in front of the Mac (in air-conditioned comfort), the challenges, the energy and the odd challenge along the way make this kind of work absolutely riveting! Each of these images is made up of bits and pieces that were all shot on the day with the odd bit thrown in for some extra detail.
It’s always great working with excellent Art Direction but I take my hat off to the client (Drivewear) for entrusting Montage and Lightly Salted to deliver the goods on this concept.
I still can’t believe it. Receiving this award in 2010 absolutely knocked my socks off. The fact that it’s happened again still hasn’t sunk but I’m sure I’ll get used to the idea soon enough.
I’d like to take this opportunity, away from Facebook, Twitter, Blah Blah and What Not to give a more personal account and hopefully not bore you all to tears. Sit down, it won’t be that bad.
For quite a few years now I’ve been working very hard to find a niche for my style of work. I am a technically minded creative collaborator. Ideal world for me is when an Art Director contacts me and says “Hey Liam, I’ve got this cool idea. I’m not sure how we’re going to make it work, that’s where you come in”. This is why the win this year is so important to me, all 4 of the images that I entered were highly time and labour intensive productions. The stuff I can really sink my teeth into.
The forks/wine glass image is made up of multiple images of one fork which allowed me to bend and distort them into the wine glass shape without losing too much of the original form and scale. It was nice that the judges noticed the forks had different little details on them; though they were the same image flipped I went to the trouble of adding and removing reflections here and there to make them appear to be individuals! This concept was the brainchild of Jon Pagano at Showpony Advertising, possibly one of the most outright perfectionists I’ve ever worked with and I love him for it. He’s also responsible for the Coopers Scooter that scored a Gold Distinction in last year’s awards and a Bronze at the Prague International Advertising Festival.
The Sportsmed building was part of a website and general image refresh for the business. This particular shot was captured in the early evening just after the sun had dipped below the horizon, there’s a fair bit of Photoshop trickery involved in this one but I won’t give too much away – you’d ‘flip’ if I told you how the building looks so perfectly symmetrical!
SAPOL recently ran a gun amnesty campaign which required a punchy and hard hitting image to capture the public’s attention. This was photographed at a top secret location (yes they are all real guns, except the few that aren’t!) and I added the cracked wall after the fact. The wall is actually the side of a car dealership down the road from our studio, very convenient.
The fourth image here is another Jon Pagano/Showpony creation – it was shot alongside the TV Commercial from BreastScreen SA at the impressive new Adelaide Studios. It was quite an emotional day as the talent were being directed to show real sadness and forlorn. We set up a stills set next to the motion guys and photographed the talent between breaks for the various required images but this one here was taken at the end and we had them all grouped together in one shot. The brief was to create a dramatic and sombre mood and I remember every retouch revision coming back with the AD asking if it could be darker! I love to be pushed to the limit and I think we really pulled off the desired mood in this case.
This is by far the longest blog post I’ve ever made but I think it shows just how much this all means to me. I really appreciate the huge amounts of support I’ve had from my wife, family, friends and colleagues over the last few years.
Thanks for taking the time to read this entire post, I know you did.
Late last year we had the privilege to photograph the gorgeous pocket rocket Rachael Leahcar who has taken Australia by storm with her recent performance on Channel 9’s The Voice. Rachael is a client of the Royal Society for the Blind for whom Lightly Salted does a lot of work in support of the charity – you may recall we raised an RSB Guide Dog Puppy a few years ago.
We were chuffed to see the facebook announcements rolling in while on holiday in South Africa so I thought I’d take a minute (now that I’m home) to show some extra images from our shoot with Rachael. It would have been quite obvious on the show but in case you hadn’t noticed, Rachael is very humble and radiates a wonderful innocence very uncommon in 17/18 year old’s these days! We wish her all the best for the show and her future career.
Just a quickie to inform you that we’ve acquired the highest resolution 35mm format camera on the market – the Nikon D800. We’ve been testing it out and pixel peeping at the incredible 36 megapixel resolution and all I can say is that all those clients who have been craving bigger files, this thing delivers in spades!!! We can now create prints 600mm tall or wide at 300 DPI. Stop drooling.
A while back we posted about the fun shoot we did for the Credit Union Xmas Pageant; over the last month or so those images have been trickling out into the media and we’ve been spotting them all over the place. Today the main group image appeared in The Advertiser – always nice to see our work being used in mainstream media.
The fourth Magazine we’ve worked on with Algo Mas and Rundle Mall turned out to be the BIGGEST by far! Not only was it a whopping 64 pages but our models were positively massive! This was an instance where we were given an opportunity to pitch some concepts for the photography and thus Mallzilla was born. Inspired partly by the ‘miniature’ (Tilt/Shift) craze that’s been doing the rounds for the last couple of years and partly an inexplicable desire to be stuck to the Mac like glue for hours and hours on end, this concept became very close to my heart. This helped maintain motivation during the mammoth 5-6 hour retouching/compositing stints for each of the 6 images!!
Not to be overlooked, the secondary shoot we did in the Botanic Gardens (Algo Mas’ concept) was also great fun – who doesn’t enjoy loitering in the park with a tonne of photographic equipment in the sweltering (Autumn!) sun? Seriously though the talent and crew were absolute stars and we captured some beautiful moments in this oasis in the city.
What a night! Last night the SA AIPP held their State Awards Dinner at the Tivoli Hotel in Adelaide. We had an inkling we were in the running for the Commercial category (sponsored by CR Kennedy and Hasselblad) and absolutely elated when it was announced that we’d won. However, that was just the beginning. After all of the category winners had been announced (congratulations to everyone who got a gong!) we were all lined up on stage in preparation for the announcement of the overall winner.
Sponsored by EPSON, the 2010 South Australian AIPP Professional Photographer of the year is…..Liam West!
To be singled out amongst all of the amazing entrants has to be the most rewarding feeling and makes all of Lightly Salted’s hard work well worth while. It’s unfortunate that the other half of the team (Lisa) couldn’t be there last night as she’s in the UK celebrating her Grandmother’s 100th birthday – we figured that trumped the possibility of winning!
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone and anyone that’s involved in our lives, we work very hard to grow our business and you are all very understanding and supportive. You all know who you are, I don’t want to single people out in case I forget someone!
Lastly a giant thanks to all of this years sponsors, we couldn’t have had such a great event without you all.