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Cade Martin Photography – Wish You Were Here – Tea Time,…

Cade Martin Photography – Wish You Were Here – Tea Time, Starbucks at the Greystone Mansion 

I’ve been working with movie lights and crews for approximately 10 years now. When the Starbucks campaign for Tazo became a possibility, I knew I wanted to incorporate a cinematic and enchanted look and feel. Lighting and location were the driving force behind this project. The Greystone mansion is an historic and cinematically recognizable location from movies such as There Will Be Blood. The interiors had windows that never received direct sunlight so everything was lit artificially. I’m a nerd, a lighting nerd at that, and I love working with continuous lights and instruments because of the natural lighting effect they create.

As is my general preference, everything was photographed in-camera so all of the elements, including the floating teapots, were really there on set. I guess things could have been photographed elsewhere and composed in post after the fact, but I jumped through a few extra hoops to create these images in camera. Special effects such as smoke were also employed on set so that I could get the clearest picture of the whole photograph as I took it.

And an image’s magic can be in its mystery – how did they do that…?

Cade Martin Photography - Wish You Were Here – Tea Time,...

Was the teapot really floating? Retouching with my friends at Sugar Digital in this case was mainly the pleasant task of playing around subjectively with color and tones to make the images as beautiful as we could. As with most of the projects I shoot, the heavy lifting is done on set. Pre-production, pre-production, pre-production. Good planning makes for a good production and detailed pre-production makes for painless post-production. The beauty of great post-production work can be in its subtlety – the icing on the teacake if you will.

Ultimately everyone’s commitment to the cinematic influence throughout the whole process helped achieve what Creative Director Daniele Monti described as “capturing the magic and whimsy of the new Tazo brand – something in between a modern Alice in Wonderland and an iconography that pulls from different eras, places and cultures.â€

Cade Martin Photography - Wish You Were Here – Tea Time,...

Cade Martin Photography – The cutting room floor. I wouldn’t…

Cade Martin Photography - The cutting room floor. 

I wouldn’t grow and learn and push as a photographer without it. 

So much of the creative, collaborative work we do is represented by what doesn’t end up as the final image or images for any given shoot.  I love working with Warren Ellis and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation – Maryland, and making this portrait of Honest Tea CEO, Seth Goldman, was a treat. Exploring his connection to Montgomery County, where Honest Tea is located, we ended up with a great image. This outtake looking up at me from that cutting room floor, reminds me of the joy of the process arriving there. The journey is vital to the destination.

Cade Martin Photography – Greetings from a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Cade Martin Photography – Greetings from a Galaxy Far, Far Away – Star Wars for Target

Deutsch LA, Star Wars, Target. Any one of these names alone would make an attractive project. Put them together, along with a pinch of Disney and a dash of Lucas Films and I can’t be entirely certain I wasn’t dreaming.

I was completely geeked to be considered for the brief “to photograph the latest Star Wars toys for Target†– toys which would be released for the 2016 holiday season. It was a resounding “yes†for me.

From our first call, it was clear that the agency saw what I had begun to realize – that the movies and comics of my youth have been some of my greatest and most important influences in my life and my picture-making. These were key ingredients in what they sought — a photographer that loved cinema and also harbored an inner-nerd.

There are times when less is more. With a sweeping, cinematic vision for this fantastic project that could have been a candidate for a lot of post-production reworking, I pulled back and went as old school as I could. I approached this series of images almost as an old Ray Harryhausen stop action movie. I wanted all of the elements to be tangibly together, for these toys to inhabit sets that had been built with great care and detail to evoke another world. Continuous lights were used, as were colored gels to shift the color to the worlds of the Star Wars narrative. Special effects were used on set so everything was captured in camera.  In post, working again with Sugar Digital, we simply modified color and tones to play up the drama of the sets and accentuate the pop of Target red. Even when I pour myself into the in-camera construction, precise post is quietly vital to sharpen the product.

Cade Martin Photography - Greetings from a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

Truth at 24 frames per second

Truth: 24 frames per second, is an exploration of time-based video media at the Dallas Museum of Art. This exhibit, compiled from the DMA’s diverse holdings, explores the nature of truth and reality in contemporary life. It surveys themes relevant to today, including political unrest, race relations, sexual identity, and media. Truth: 24 frames per second runs October 22 – January 28.

Pictured: Ant Farm. Media Burn. 1975-2003. © 2017 Ant Farm. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix, New York. 

 

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