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Photographer speaks up after her photo was used in disgraceful UK Government ad: “I was devastated”

Earlier this week, the UK Government came under fire over a “crass” campaign photo. It shows a young ballet dancer and a caption reading: “Fatima’s next job could be in cyber (she just doesn’t know it yet). Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.” Atlanta-based photographer Krys Alex shot the original image, and she spoke up about the incident. […]

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UK Government marketing campaign devalues artists while using free images from Unsplash

Coronavirus has hit all of us, but artists and creators are among those who were hit really hard. UK Government decided to hit them even harder in a marketing campaign that completely devaluates their jobs. Not only does it mock artists, but it also uses free photos found on Unsplash, So, it’s no wonder that […]

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How Not to Shoot a Car Commercial

There is always that time on a shoot… Everything has been going really well up until that point. You’re explaining the next shot to the client and they stare back at you, not sure if you’re trying to be funny.

A few explanations later and the plan is agreed. We’re going to film their sports SUV gracefully negotiating a hairpin bend, only we’re going to do it at walking speed.

I reassure the client that it’s a good idea and will look amazing, but the truth is I’m not 100% sure. The test shots I did looked pretty good.

Moments like this on shoots are oddly reassuring. If everyone thinks you’ve gone a bit crazy then you’re probably doing something right, or at least you’re trying something different.

Time to get running.

We’re filming on a particularly beautiful stretch of road around Lake Tahoe in the US. The car is embargoed, it’s one of the more high profile shoots I’ve been involved in.

So how would you normally film this shot? It’s actually pretty straightforward. That is if the road is closed and you’ve got a ‘Russian Arm’, essentially a car with a large jib built in.

Sadly my arms aren’t Russian. A ‘low tech’ solution is in order. Rather than work out complex and dangerous ways to smoothly move the camera at speed, I would move the car at walking speed and run alongside it. Something closer to a stop motion animation than a car commercial. This allows some pretty big camera moves seamlessly taking us to our next shot.

I’m “filming” with a Nikon D5 mounted to a gimbal and shooting stills at 8fps. Effectively filming at 1/3 real-time in 6k with oodles of NEF raw quality to stabilize in post.

4,635 photos later and I think we’ve got a good take. I’ve certainly had a good workout running alongside the hero car at least.

Is the shot perfect? Not perfect but certainly dynamic and it was achieved quickly, with minimal fuss and in the perfect light.

About the author: Rob Whitworth is a BAFTA winning EMMY nominated film maker. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Whitworth’s unique flow motion works are instantly identifiable. You can find more of his work on his website, or by following him on Facebook and Instagram.

IKEA Used a CGI ‘Influencer’ as the Model for Its New Ad Campaign

IKEA’s transition from photography to all-CGI advertising is almost complete. After moving most of their catalog “photography” over to CGI many years ago, IKEA Japan’s latest ad campaign takes this approach to the next level by using a CGI model. Specifically, the campaign features CGI Instagram ‘Influencer’ Imma.

It might all sound a bit Black Mirror, but it’s true: IKEA Japan’s latest ad campaign, titled IKEA with Imma, features a fake CGI model who “lived” inside a small IKEA-decorated apartment for three days and posted images of her “life” inside that apartment on Instagram.

Her “living room” was on display on an LED screen in the window of the new Harajuku district store in Tokyo, where passers by could watch Imma live her IKEA-strewn life. Other than the occasional outing, she spend three full days inside that apartment: cooking, cleaning, exercising, playing with her dog Einstein, and taking & posting Instagram photo the entire time.

You can see how it turned out below, or watch 10 hours worth of livestream here.

And here’s a peek inside Imma’s “room” at IKEA in Tokyo:

Credit: IKEA Japan

Unlike some of the agencies and projects that generate portraits of fake people for ad campaigns and other uses, Imma is sort of… half real. According to My Modern Met, her photos are created by transposing her 3D animated head onto a live-action body and background.

The IKEA campaign was probably created in a similar way: a real person with Imma’s 3D head transposed on top of it actually had to live in a room for three days and take all those pictures; their life was then played out on an LCD screen and the pictures were posted as they were being “taken” in the virtual world.

Knowing that this is a half-real person might take a bit of the “magic” out of it, but it still represents a curious “next step” further away from genuine photography and videography for IKEA. In 2014, they were already using CGI “photos” of furniture; in 2020, they don’t even need real people anymore.

(via Fast Company)