Photographer Howard Schatz captured these majestic dancers underwater to depict the clarity and color rendition of a Sony television screen. This creative advertising job showcases ingenuity at its finest, showcasing Howard’s ability to address technical challenges through creative problem-solving.
In order to achieve just the free-flowing effect needed to give the project a graceful feel, Howard suggested casting dancers, and putting them in bright, flowing costumes beneath crystal clear water. After putting together a cast of six dancers, he then hired a talented stylist to create dresses using the material chiffon, which takes on an elegant fluidity underwater.
Howard then placed a 300-pound front-silvered mirror at the bottom of the pool to create a reflective illusion that made the dancers look as if they were gliding across a television screen. He elaborates:
The silver reflective coating on a mirror is always placed behind the glass. Photographing the reflections in such mirrors will, subtly by surely, reveal the “ghost” of the glass. I had a mirror made with the reflective covering painted on top of the glass resulting in a perfectly clear, pristine image.
The next challenge involved getting the dancers to look as if they were “flowers blown by a breeze.” Since swimming couldn’t quite achieve the desired poise, Howard had one of his assistants pull each dancer with a thin, black chord while off-camera and underwater. (which was invisible against the black background).
Alas, the shoot was a dream come true. These creative techniques allowed Howard to hit the nail right on the head, bringing his vision to life with just the right precision needed to give this shoot an otherworldly appeal.
For more photography samples by Howard Schatz, view his portfolio here.