Category Archives: Art Gallery

GJ Pearson shoot

This shoot was done with only 3 hours sleep under my belt.   My buddy Curt Brown is visiting from Sarnia, Ontario and I asked him to come along with me to lend a hand.  He was my assistant for the paper bag princess shoot.  GJ Pearson is an artist here in Victoria who is showing at Dab Gallery from March 21st to April 22nd, 2009.  I needed some nice shots of his pieces and one of him for our website so we lugged my lights and gear all the way over to his studio which happens to be across the street.  I didn’t even bother disassembling the softbox it was that close.

GJ and Denise live in a very cool studio.  It has brick walls with a high ceiling that has many bicycles hanging from it on pulley systems. GJ’s toys are everywhere; metal sculptures with moving parts,  nude figurines with wings, teddy bears with their faces ripped off waiting for a new one.  The place is like something straight out of a Tim Burtonesque nightmare.  His pieces really creeped me out the first time I saw them on display at another gallery but now with three of them on my wall for the past couple weeks I can truly say that they are growing on me.  Each one has it’s own personality and I’m continuously amazed at the new characters that GJ creates.

I was excited to shoot his pieces because it is something out of the norm for what I’m used to shooting (or so I thought).  I brought along two Hensel Integra Pro 500w/s  units, one with a medium softbox and the other with just a sports reflector.  We used a piece of black material as a seamless background.   I wanted the lighting to look realistic and not flat and boring.  After looking at them for a minute I realised that I could just light them like I would light any other human subject.  I used the softbox overhead to the left in front to create some contrast between the exposed and shadowed areas and the sports reflector from behind right to create some seperation with a rim light.  The setup worked perfect for every piece with just minor adjustments.  Once we had the first down pat we just moved throught the whole line of pieces.  Simple no stress shooting.

We finished after a couple of hours and decided to take the opportunity to get a shot of GJ at his workspace.  There was no lengthy process to figuring this one out.  I saw his cluttered desk and knew that I had to shoot it with the fisheye with him working over it.  I thought when I moved out here and stopped shooting skating that my fisheye would just gather dust in my closet but I’ve really been finding it useful for portraits.  Usually the fisheye is an unflattering lens for this type of work but given the right subject the lens distortion really gives you a great perspective.

Come out and visit the show 🙂