Wednesday, March 29, 2006

1 Month in Chicago

Essanay Soundstage 2
I hit the ground running when I arrived in Chicago. After a month, I am still running along with the Paul Elledge Photography studio. We are in the midst of shooting a large job in a film soundstage!! This is the type of experience that you cannot pay for in a workshop. Don't get me wrong, I love workshops and have learnt a lot from them, but this type of experience is priceless.

Essanay Soundstage 2
I cannot show what the shoot actually is. This is what the soundstage looks like though. It's huge but apparently there is one stage is four times larger.

Essanay Soundstage 2
I have never really worked in a studio with cyclorama before Geoff Ang's studio course. Here I am painting the floor white!! Ok assistants, take notes right when I will have to rent a sound stage for a job. :)

Paul and Leasha trying out something for the next day's shoot and having fun at the same time. Is it not cool that we can work and have fun at the same time? :)

I think everybody must be going, 'Oh my, Heng has put on weight!!' This is a typical take away meal in America. It can feed me for 2 and a half meals. The food portions are just GIGANTICO!!

When I get back to Singapore I am going to be as BIG as Paul Elledge. Maybe not as a photographer, but at least in the physical sense. ;)

I have been thinking about the work that Paul has been doing. I have seen so much work in Singapore, with so many bells and whistles, back lighting, massive digital work and other bleeding edge stuff. Although I do appreciate the new techniques and will explore some of them, I love Paul and his clients emphasis on good old photography. Getting the skin tones right, getting the light sculpting on the face of the subject, getting the connection between the photographer and subject. In my heart, I know that I will go for some more dramatic techniques for some work, but I feel it is important to be grounded in getting simple portraits that can simply speak for themselves.

With the move to digital photography, the techniques that I am learning will be new. But I really want to find that soul of simplicity and groundedness. I want quality compared to quantity and technique for the sake of technique. Paul related a story about his friend, Chicago's celebrity chef, Charlie Trotter. Apparently Charlie Trotter believes that when you have good ingredients and cook it well, you only need to eat small amount to be satisfied. You have to eat a lot of junk food but you still do not really feel satisfied.

Now, all that food for thought in this one month is giving me indigestion. :)


töes said...

I am reminded of the backdrop painting session we had four years ago... Look who's painting the floor now! Ha! But it's good fun lah.

Death Wool said...

looking good my friend =)

wrt the previous post about getting shit while working at a high level..
i believe one gets shit at just about every damn level.


pfong said...

Extra weight or no, that food looks delish!

wrt to painting the floor, I guess it's a small price to pay for the freedom to learn.

I think Terry Pratchett has this book about a monk who sweeps the floor in the temple, but because of his humility, has the most powerful kung-fu of all :-)

wansheng said...

i dunno abt the rest... but hey, nice haircut!:)